Day Forty Eight & Nine (21st & 22nd Oct) – Chivay

24 10 2010

The Andes & Canyon Country…

Our two day tour took us from Areqipa to the Colca Canyon and on to Puno. Passing through Los Andes, Chivay, Tuti, and Cabanaconde we climbed up to the dizzying altitude of 4,900 metres.

Canon Del Colca stretches a hundred kilometres and is shadowed by snow topped Coropuna and Ampato volcanoes 6,613 and 6,310 metres high. At its deepest, the canyon measures 3,191 metres deep, making it twice as deep as the Grand Canyon and the second deepest in the world. The deepest canyon was just a couple of hundred kilometres away.

The landscape and scenery was stunning…a rocky, arid, almost bleached landscape contrasted by brilliant blue skies and in the distance snow peaked volcanoes and mountains. This later gave way to the Andes Plato with its yellow tuffs of straw like grasses, pure blue lakes and again distant mountains.

On our two day trip we visited natural hot pools, took short walks, stopped at a half a dozen rural mountain villages, saw hundreds of llamas and made a two hour bone breaking mini bus ride to Cruz Del Condor. This is a famed view point from which it is often possible to see a large family of Andean Condors gliding effortlessly on thermal air currents. The jury is still out as to whether this five hour round trip was really worth the effort for the two condors we saw.

Nevertheless, the views were literally breathtaking; as we were starting to feel the effects of mild altitude sickness. Just doing anything requires fifty percent more effort. Whereas in the hot and humid Amazon we were very aware of water intake and how it seemed to seep like a sieve out of every pore of our skin. Here at 4,000 plus metres we were aware of every breath, and how we had to make a conscious effort to breath deeper and quicker than it was felt necessary.

One of the local remedies for combating the effects of the high altitude is to chew coca leaves or as we preferred, coca tea, available in most hotels, restaurants and roadside cafes. Our trip ended in Puno (3,830 metres) a city that sits on the western shore of Lake Titicaca.




One response

24 10 2010

Muy linda

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