Colca Canyon. I survived. It’s always the case that I don’t know what I am signing up for so when we hit the road at 3 am in the morning driving to the canyon I was soundly asleep in the van and enjoying the view in the morning rolling up and down the side of the mountain overlooking the Canyon. Colca Canyon is one of the deepest canyon in the world but lack the fame of Grand Canyon. Guess they forgot to put the word Grand in front.
Breakfast stop and I had the first taste of Coca Tea …. Pretty delicious like any other tea but other than that nothing much. The first stop was the Condor Viewing area which was great since we spotted Condor … I thought they would be bigger but well they are big enough. Next stop Hiking time.
So Day One we started high up and slowly went down from 3700 to 2500m about 4 hours walk downhill with great view disappearing as we decent. After about 2 ½ hours my right knee started to act up and was becoming painful. Slow down the pace but still reach there in time for lunch. First day and we camp there with no more hiking. Illiot and Atin went for a side tour hike towards QaQatapay which is an Inca ruin that barely any tourist goes. I sat out that one and just relax at the hostel or lodge nursing my beer and my leg
Day Two was not too bad …. A little uphill and mostly flat walking and then downhill to Sangalle. Just a morning hike to the next stop for lunch and camp for the night. We had so much time the 2nd day to just chill back relax, swim, sleep at the hammock, play some soccer, some cards with other groups from other guide and even light a campfire at night. The bottle of rum we bought along the way was a good friendship maker I guess.
Day Three …. The day I almost gave up. Woke up at 430 am in the morning for a gruesome 4 hours hike uphill non-stop. It was a 1000m uphill elevation climb with a time limit where we need to get there by 8am else no breakfast. I invoked the smokers pace for that climb, super slow and was constantly out of breath. Walking so slowly I lost count how many people passed me including a few donkeys with bloody riders on top.
Vamos Chico (Lets Go) ….. Shouted the guide from far above looking at me with a grin on his face. Thou I could not see the grin I knew it was there. Cursing, swearing I slowly make my way up and finally reach …. Just before 8am. Everyone was so damn fast going up in 3 hours while I took 4.
“Oii Edwin …. Esta Bien ???” shouted Elliot from above …. ( Are you OK ?? )
“No Fucking Esta Bien” I shouted back …..
Huffing and puffing that last 100meters I was nearly there …. Bite whatever thought I had of pain and just move on …. A step at a time ….
Next time … I am getting a donkey …. Fuck … Still I survived.
After breakfast was a drive to the hot springs, a hot spring never felt so good after that hike. Then it was a slow drive back to Arequipa with a lunch stop and a viewpoint stop at 5100m elevation.