Colca Canyon Day 1

Chivay Travel Blog

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            My canyon tour started at 8 am, and I was relieved to see a full mini bus arrive to pick me up, in contrast with my solo Machu Picchu inident.  However, as I booked the lazy mans tour rather than a walking tour, my group consisted of almost all old people!  The exception was a Canadian couple roughly my age, they were just as relieved to see me amongst the wrinkly faces, I´d say.  The guy was quite friendly and lively, the girl however appeared to have a stick up her ass, as she rarely smiled or spoke, and didn´t even eat at any of the meals.  Eating turned to to be pretty much the highlight of the tour, which in the end was quite boring.

  We drove for ages from Arequipa to a small village located close to the canyon and stopped frequently at viewpoints without much of a view.  The scenery was somewhat nice in a dry, deserty way, but it seemed the real goal of the tour was to give us opportunity after opportunity to buy souveniers from the ladies that populated each stop.

 In the village I was set up in a hostal with a private room which was kind of nice for a change, but not the most fun atmosphere by a long shot.  Talking to people on the tour revealed quite a difference in price: I had paid 90 soles through my Arequipa hostel, the Canadians only 60, and another couple a whopping 120, which they thought was a steal as they were originally quoted 180!  One nice aspect of the first day were some hotsprings, so we got a chance to soak our skin in extremely hot volanic water, a pleasant change to the freezing cold high altitude night air.

  Our dinner also had some dancers for entertainment, including one dance where the couples whipped each other playfully with cloth ropes.  I had some fright as the tour guide was nearly a half hour late to pick me up, and I stood there wondering how I´d get back to Arequipa if they just never came for me.  Before dinner we had a bit of free time so I popped into an Irish pub close by my hostel, “The highest Irish pub in the world!” they claimed.  But as I was the one and only person in there it definitely lacked atmosphere.  The Canadians were in a different hostal so I had no opportunity to ask them to join me, the guy I´m sure would have been up for it but stick-in-ass most likely would have refused, as she wanted to go home immediately after the denner she didn´t eat.

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photo by: scacos2006