I got picked up 7.45 in the morning here at Kevins place and was droven downtown to the agency, where I waited for like an hour before everyone was gathered to start our 3 hours- journey to Colca. I didn’t know what to expect really, since this also was an activity I had booked since before.
On our way to Colca we had a few stops, like in Pampa Cañahuas, where we could see Vicuñas , they are not tooo usual around here.
We had a stop for some coca tee at Patapampa and then arrived at Chivay, the capital of the Colca Valley. We checked in at our hotel, and I was soo tired I wanted to sleep but already after 30 minutes we were going to the thermal baths in La Calera. I put on my bathing suite and went there.. it was reaaally cold and windy outside, but once in, woooow, amazing how hot it was!! Close to the source it was actually burning. Some people didn’t want to take their clothes of and jump in, poor them I say, because it was really lovely. And afterwards, when you have to go out, you are so warm that you don’t feel it’s cold outside at all, so it was totally a pleasant bath. : ) 15 soles though.
Went back to the hotel and took a shower (I always get really really dry after the thermal baths and start to peel of skin) and then went to eat dinner. It was going to be a folkloric show.. it was some men playing nice music and then a couple dancing some traditional dances. It was nice but I feel like it’s way to touristic.. not real.
Also when we arrived at Chivay they took us to another touristic restaurant, the buffey was for 25 soles, maybe not tooo much, but still a lot more because the local food is for 5-6 soles. I went downtown to have that instead. I didn’t bring that much money, I had only calculated max 10 soles each meal, so I can’t afford to eat on the touristic places.
Next day I had breakfast at the hotel at 5.30, and around 6 the bus came to pick us up to go to the Cruz del Condor, where you can see a lot of condors flying around. On our way we made some stops, like in Maca to go to the market, and in Achoma and Pinchollo that has some great views over the Colca valley. In Cruz del Condor we stayed for 1 hour, and it was amazing how many condors that were flying around there. Some of the biggest are around 2,5-3 meters between the wings.
We had the last pricey lunch (buffey for 25 soles, looked reaaaally great, but I had a starter for 10 soles instead…) and then the rest started their trip back to Arequipa, but I was going to stay for a few more days on my own.
The guide fixed so I could stay in Chivay at a hostel there that costed 25 soles (but apparently the hotel this night was 35 USD!). My thought was to start with the rural tourism in the villages tomorrow. I went for a walk around the market in Chivay when German calls me and says he is in Chivay and can take me to the small villages today already. I went to check out from the hostal, I had only been there for like 30 minutes max, but the couple who owned it had just been to the bank so they could only return 15 soles. Damn it. Anyhow.
German took me with his motorcycle first to Corporaque to visit and introduce me to Josefina who lives there with her son Jorge there. They let me try their traditional clothing. :) So beautiful!! The cheapest traditional dress cost at least 1000 soles (400 USD).. the women work for years to earn enough to have their own dress..
A little later German drove me to Canocota in the sunset, to introduce me to the family there, Julia and Pedro, where I’m going to stay this night.
Will put more pictures later!