Colca day 2
Cabanaconde Travel Blog› entry 56 of 72 › view all entries
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.
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.
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.