Arequipa to Chivay Highway...THE Road !
Arequipa to Chivay Highway...THE Road ! Reviews
The Highway through the Andes....! Sep 21, 2013
We all have read much about various " roads" all over the world. These roads all seem to have a common theme because they are located in exotic places. Of course, usually these are places I have never visited. Until Peru, I had never made such a journey.
The road to the Colca Canyon in Peru had intrigued me. It was the sheer joy of going higher and higher. That alone gives me goosebumps. I get a bit over-excited when I consider or go to mountains. Mountains become my passion.
I suppose is is far more than the pure air. When I traveled the road from Arequipa to Chivay in the heights of the Peruvian Altiplano, it was another awakening.
This road became the catalyst for the whole collection of my feelings about the Peruvian altiplano.
The road from Arequipa to Chivay is some 3.5 hours of driving through a variety of ecological zones. There is desert, altiplano and dry tundra. One rises from humble altitude to " altitude sickness" and then back down again. Cocoa tea is a welcome addition if you want to keep your belly and head in rest position. The road features mind and body changes.
In this experience, one gets to feel the creeping cold air, the dry air , the cold wind and the wet humidity. All the elements mix together as one goes higher and higher.
The altiplano road peaks at some 4,910 meters or 16,110 feet. One's breathing become more laboured and the knees protest exertion, protest the lack of oxygen.
One passes through a variety of zones as noted above.In addition, the Aguada Blanca National Viscuna Reserve where I was fortunate enough to photograph these rare and timid camelids...the Viscuna..of expensive sweater fame. They surely looked better in the wild , than in a sweater.
Climate wise, above all, I will always remember the cold and the windswept vistas ...and of course, the air that bites with sharp , sharp teeth. It reminded me of my Maritime roots , when the sea air comes in , went and damp.
This is the Mirador de los Volcanoes ..some rising 6,000 meters into the sky....20,600 feet. And the stark grandeur rips into the visual mind. It is not a place to go through, it is a place where you walk with clouds.
However,strange enough, the actual road road is almost impossible to describe. I was like a child in an ice creme parlor....trying to taste every flavor...wanting to be gorged.
I hope my photos can tell the story..because it is a huge as well as very high story. The sparse altiplano with the Inka ladies selling their goods...color in the sky.
Photos. in my mind, need to tell the real story. My words only paint the first photo. The photos add the elements of the meal.
.....I was there and I experienced the reality ! It is a very very humbling experience !
Part of the Peru - 2013 travel blog
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