Colca day 2

Cabanaconde Travel Blog

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Fruit seller in traditional dress

Luckily we managed to negotiate a little bit of a later start and after breakfast we headed on for some more uphill. We climbed up through a couple of hundred metres to a plateau on the north side of the valley to go and have a look at some of the little villages.

 

Along the way we sampled some more fruit, most notably the fruit of the cactus which I know as prickly pear. Absolutely awesome. I can’t believe I have not had this before but it is definitely something that we will be having again in our travels and back in SA.

 

Then some more downhill again (yay, not) to get to our lunch stop at a spot with a swimming pool and grass area for us to rest our weary muscles.

 

The previous evening we had discussed the walk uphill with Olivia and she mentioned the option of a ride up the hill on a mule.

Damn tourists
At lunch Faye, Kat and I decided that this would be an exciting way to do the uphill. Kat has been wanting to do horse riding since we arrived in South America. Neither of us having ridden a horse (or mule for that matter) we figured a 2 hour, 1,200m ascent up a mountain would be the perfect time to try.  (Lorraine should be proud of me).

 

Dave, meanwhile had taken a bet with Matt that, given a half hour head start, he would beat the mules up the valley. The mules take about 2 hours. Most fit people take 3, so it was a pretty aggressive bet and he set off at a cracking pace up the side of the valley.

 

I can tell you that the mule ride (at 35 Soles, about £6) was the right option for us. It is a hell of a long way up. And steep. It is incredible what the mules can do, they just go and go and go.

Well earned refresher
(Mules for the uninitiated, or extreme shoppers, are not shoes, but in fact a cross between a horse and a donkey). My poor bastard though had a little extra weight which was kindly pointed out by one of the handlers when it was huffing and puffing a bit more than the others – he pointed at me and thankfully indicated tall as well as wide.

 

Kat’s mule did not look willing at the beginning and was initially pulling back on the rope, but after that could not be stopped. It kept trying to overtake me and  was being kept on a short reign by the handler most of the way. It was so keen on overtaking mine that Kat frequently had her knee up my mule’s butt and her mule kept biting my leg.

 

We managed to beat Dave up, but found Nigel, triumphant, at the top. Olivia and Dave also made it up on their own steam, but the others ended up hitching a lift for some portion of the way.

 

Along the way we had some excitement with a herd of llamas being herded down the same path. Even though they are domesticated, they are still skittish animals and there were a couple of moments when it looked like they would stampede.

 

We spent the night in a small hotel in Cabanecondor.

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Fruit seller in traditional dress
Fruit seller in traditional dress
Damn tourists
Damn tourists
Well earned refresher
Well earned refresher
Dave in phoon mode
Dave in phoon mode
Llamas, skittish.
Llamas, skittish.
Kat rides into the sunset
Kat rides into the sunset
Just got out of the saddle feel, b…
Just got out of the saddle feel, …
Cabanaconde
photo by: Riz7