Category Archives: Chivay

Wet Canyon

Ivan and I have breakfast at 5:30 am on November 20, 2012. 

The group left on the bus at 6 am. 

We stopped at a traditional village named Maca. 

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Women with alpacas and eagles were taking photos with the tourists.  Girls were dancing in traditional outfits around the fountains with the colonial church in the background. 

We saw Pre-Inca terraces.

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The bus started driving towards Colca Canyon.  Jesus took us on a 45 minute walk which wasn’t a hard hike.  I felt a little out of breath since it’s really high.  The highest point of Colca Canyon is 3,600 meters (11811 feet).  I do get effected by altitude sickness with headaches and shortness of breath while walking.

Ivan bought a slingshot earlier and he was trying to hit the condors with rocks. 

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We saw 2 condors towards the viewpoint which was miles away from us. 

Jesus guided the group further.  He told us that we had an hour to spare and where to meet the bus.  I think an hour is too long unless you’re really keen on seeing the condors. 

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Colca Canyon was alright – not too impressive.  I’d rather see the Grand Canyon.

Ivan and I walked up to Condor Cross viewpoint.  There were no sign of any condors though.  Ivan and I checked out the merchandise for sale like socks, rocks and postcards with condors on them.

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Ivan and I shared a avocado and cheese sandwich made with a lady in traditional dress.

We started walking to the bus.  I saw two condors up above us, but Ivan had the camera so I didn’t get a chance to snap one.

The group piled onto the bus.  Jesus kept talking on the bus.  I couldn’t understand everything he was saying.  Not many people were really paying attention.  He told us some words, I think Andean.  The only one I remember is caca means uncle.  He told us way too many.  I think a few words would have sufficed.

The bus drove back to Chivay where we had a lunch buffet at Sumac Wasi.  Ivan and I are vegetarians so there wasn’t much choice.  The fried trout was so very tasty.  Ivan asked for more.  It was the most popular thing in the buffet.  Ty told me the rest of the food wasn’t very good.  They brought out more that Ivan grabbed a few.  I went to get some and it was gone.  Jesus said Do you want trout?  I said yes.  The lady brought out the bowl and I took more.  I think we ate all their trout!  Ivan said they weren’t prepared for the hungry gringos. 

After lunch, we drove for an hour and a half to Patahuasi.  Frida our Oasis truck was waiting for us along with the rest of the group. 

Franco started driving us at 2 pm. 

Ivan’s the best DJ on the truck.  So, he played lots of fun music during our drive.  I don’t get it though.  Ivan played a really fun Fatboy Slim mix a few weeks ago and most people didn’t like it.. but most people were dancing the Macarena and to the Spice Girls today.  It’s great to have cool, upbeat music on a long drive since it makes the time go by faster.

It was a bush camp night where we camp on the side of the road.  This time our camp site was in a rock quarry and it was raining. 

Everybody in the group except us started setting up their tents.  Ivan wanted to wait until it stopped raining or until the rain died down.  The truck bitches set up a tent for the group.  Our cool group leader Mel was working on dinner.

It wasn’t raining as hard, so Ivan and I went to set up our tent and put the flysheet up. 

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We grabbed our sleeping bags and rolls mats and took them to the tent.  Our pants were wet, so we changed our pants.  Our hands were so cold.

Rocks started falling and Mel advised everybody they should move their tents to the other side where our tent was located.  It was a wise move since somebody could get seriously hurt.

For dinner, Mel cooked up a lovely vegetarian soup which was great comfort food since it was still raining hard. 

Everybody went to their tent early since it was too cold to hang out.

Ivan and I watched a weird movie called Tony and then we went to sleep early at 9 pm.

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Hot Crepes

Ivan, Lil Dave and I woke up at 8:30 am.  I woke up at 4:30 am and kept tossing and turning, so I didn’t have a great night’s sleep.

We headed up to breakfast for the scrambled eggs and pancake.  Lil Dave had a banana pancake.

We packed everything up, checked out and held our day pack in the luggage storage at Home Sweet Home.  Later today, we’re going to a 2 day trip to Colca Canyon.

The 16 of us that were going on the trip walked with Franco to the truck.  Ivan and I put our big backpacks on Frida the big Oasis yellow truck.

We walked around the shopping area which is mostly pedestrianized.  Arequipa is a nice city, but there’s not many street lights in the centre.  So, it can take a few minutes to cross the street using the crosswalks.  Ivan bought a pair of swimming shorts since he forgot his on the truck.  We’ll be going to hot springs later today.

It was time for lunch, so we walked to Crepísimo Crêperie.  This restaurant is run by the same owner as Zig Zag.  I had an Andean trout crepe while Ivan had a spinach and tuna.  Lil Dave got a banana and honey crepe.  My crepe was the definitely tasted the best.  The Andean trout has a similar color to salmon and tastes terrific.

We walked back to the hostel.  A group of 16 of us were picked up by Illary Tours for our Colca Canyon 2 day trip.  Our guide was a Peruvian guy named Jesus.  Ivan wonders why Jesus is such a popular name with Mexicans and Latin people.  I think it’s because they’re very religious.

The bus drove us to different places like National Park Pampa Cañahuas where we saw alpacas and vicuñas. 

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We also stopped at the Volcano Viewpoint which is 4,850 meters high (15912 feet).

Our last stop was a great view of the town Chivay.

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We arrived in Chivay, Peru at 4:30 pm and checked in to Los Portales.

Ivan and I got ready and the group left for the hot springs.

La Calera hot springs was a short drive away.  It’s 15 soles per person for entry to 3 pools.  Two of the pools are outside with one being 39° C and the other one was slightly cooler.  We chilled in the pool that’s 39° C (which was a lovely temperature) and drank a cold beer. 

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It’s true that alcohol affects you more at higher altitudes. 

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Ivan and I could feel that beer.

Bob, who’s in his 60’s, went to chat with 4 Swedish girls. I call him the Ladies Man while others say he’s Mr. Romantic.

There’s another pool inside with a sauna, but we didn’t check it out.  Sarah, Raoul and Ty said they checked out the sauna and it smells funny.  There’s another pool that’s 1.50 soles to get into, but they walked into that one and it’s nothing special.

Ivan didn’t want to leave the hot springs.  We were only there for an hour.

That night, some of the group when to see the Peña Show called Tusuy Wasi.  A set menu of 20 or 25 soles per person was available.  Ivan and I each got a hot alcoholic drink.  Ivan’s had anise in it and tasted like absinthe.  Ivan and I shared two set menus. 

A band started playing Andres folk music while a masked guy danced a traditional dance with two Peruvian girls. 

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Our soups were quinoa soup and asparagus.  The main courses were fried trout.

Lots more dancing happened.  The dancers pulled up guests to dance with them.

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One of the band members played the biggest pan pipes I’ve ever seen.  It made a deep noise. 

The guy kept dancing with a mask on.  I asked Ivan if he was really ugly and he was trying to hide his face.  Ivan said yes, he got the idea from the Phantom of the Opera.

Ivan and I shared a slice of chocolate cake (which wasn’t very chocolaty) and fruit salad.

Ivan and I were getting tired and wanted to leave, but we came on a bus with the group.

A guy and girl were dancing.  The girl was on the ground and the guy started whipping here.  We couldn’t believe it.  I didn’t think it was appropriate with little kids around.  More dancers came out.  We were talking to Wilko at this point.  One of the girls picked Wilko to dance with.

The guy dancer got on the ground along with the local girls.  Pete was on the ground near Wilko.  The girls started whipping them.  It was really funny!  The white girl was trying to mimic the whipping, but didn’t make a snapping noise like the local girls who’ve had lots of practice.  The girls then walked over Pete and Wilko while they were on the ground even over their face.  

The group wanted to go back to the hotel.  Jesus said that the driver left already so we had to walk.  We thought he was going to walk us to the hotel.  Once we got to the main square, he told somebody the directions and then he left us.  I couldn’t believe he didn’t walk us back.  Thankfully, we made it back in one piece.

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