Colca Canyon Day 1

Chivay Travel Blog

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Beautiful and intriguing stone structers are built by locals to ask a wish

So on the first day of our trip to the Colca Canyon we travelled out of Arequipa and up to a very high (or at least it felt pretty high) mountain pass before descending a little to the town of Chivay and beyond that the village we were staying at.  The journey was interrupted by a number of stops to drink coca tea, buy coca sweets and chocolate, and generally anything to counter the effects of the altitude! 

At the highest point in our journey we stopped to admire both the views and the seemingly endless number of small stone structures that had been placed all over the otherwise barren landscape.  This placing of a few stones on top of each other (see the photos) allows the creator a wish, but whether the wishes ever come true or not they seemed to me to have a beautiful presence.

The gorgeous view from our walk, with pre-Inca terrances for farming and flowering cacti in the foreground

When we eventually made it to the hotel we were styaing at we found it was gorgeous, and made even more entertaining by the alpaca which roams the grounds.  When we arrived some local kids were provoking it, and in response it was chasing them at some speed.  When Ryan got to close he discovered that alpacas do indeed spit, and got one right in the face (again, see the photo for somewhat surprised Ryan´s reaction).  The hotel had a fantastic buffet lunch and then open fire to enjoy as the sunset.

The day wasn´t entirely a lazy one, though, as a few of us elected to go on a walk along the neartby hillside.  It was beautiful to see the views of pre-Inca terraces and flowering cacti on the way, as well as the almost inevitable burial tombs with a couple of skulls in!

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Beautiful and intriguing stone str…
Beautiful and intriguing stone st…
The gorgeous view from our walk, w…
The gorgeous view from our walk, …
View across the barren geological …
View across the barren geological…
The stone mounds are everywhere!
The stone mounds are everywhere!
Llama and little llama - ahhhhhh h…
Llama and little llama - ahhhhhh …
The large alpaca that was running …
The large alpaca that was running…
... and spitting in Ryan´s face!
... and spitting in Ryan´s face!
Instead of barbed wire here they o…
Instead of barbed wire here they …
Chivay
photo by: scacos2006