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Trekking Peru’s Colca Canyon, Day 2

We climb our way out of one of the deepest canyons in the world at high altitude and under blazing sun…needless to say, it wasn’t easy — but totally worth it.

After an amazingly restful 11 hours of sleep after our descent into the world’s second deepest canyon (guess we needed to catch up on sleep!) we packed up, ate our Cliff bars, and began the exhausting trek out of the canyon.

Colca Canyon (Cañon del Colca)
MAX ELEVATION:10,849 ft. / 3,307 m. (Rim @Cabanaconde)
MIN ELEVATION:7,300 ft. / 2,225 m. (Floor @Sangalle el Oasis)

 

Trekking Colca Canyon Peru

Brushing teeth with a water bottle at the bottom of Colca Canyon.

Trekking Colca Canyon Peru

Our accommodations for the night. Best night’s sleep, ever.

Trekking Colca Canyon Peru

Inside our cabana. Bed stilts ‘n’ Barbie sheets…all you really need.

Trekking Colca Canyon Peru

View of Sangalle/Oasis shortly after beginning our climb out of the canyon.

Trekking Colca Canyon Peru
The hot (and steep) climb out of the world’s [2nd] deepest canyon.
This was a TOUGH hike…given the altitude, rough terrain, and direct sun. Our hearts were pounding (Lori says even more than hiking out of the Grand Canyon) and quads were burning. We stopped frequently to catch our breath and drink water in the shade, which became increasingly difficult (if not impossible) to find as the hours wore on.

Trekking Colca Canyon Peru

 

Trekking Colca Canyon Peru
Looking back into the canyon.

We frequently had to move aside for the dozens of burros (mules) heading down the canyon, and almost got taken out by a couple of them; quarters were tight!

Trekking Colca Canyon Peru

Local man leading mules down the wall of the canyon.

Trekking Colca Canyon Peru
Shade, at last! Our grassy snack-knoll overlooking the canyon.

We had a nice sit down break in the shade when we were almost to the top to refuel with fruit snacks and jerky. We were relieved to have finally made it so close to the end…and in just over three hours!

Trekking Colca Canyon Peru

 

Trekking Colca Canyon Peru

Cabanaconde (in the distance) from the top of the canyon trail.

Trekking Colca Canyon Peru

 

Trekking Colca Canyon Peru
Trailhead sign – Made it down and out!

We treated ourselves to a lunch for 5 soles each (like $1.50!) and enjoyed some Inca Kola at a small, family-run restaurant. We enjoyed watching a stray dog and the proprietor play cat-and-mouse, and listening to a dating-advice-meets-Jerry-Springer show on TV until a small child came marching angrily from another room to turn it off (apparently disgusted by the poor reception).

Trekking Colca Canyon Peru

 

Trekking Colca Canyon Peru
Our one-way tickets out of Cabanaconde back on the Andalucia. Time to dust off the white knuckles…

Tickets in hand, we started the bumpy 6-hour ride back to Arequipa. During the first three hours, we caught the evening rush hour as the driver stopped every couple of minutes to pick up vendors, merchants, farmers, laborers and school children and deposit them in one of four small villages we barreled through at breakneck speed. We followed a long line of trucks on windy roads into Arequipa, checked into Caminante Class and prepared for our trip to Cuzco the next day.

Trekking Colca Canyon Peru

Cabanaconde woman and condor statue in the Plaza de Armas.

Trekking Colca Canyon Peru

Internet Cafe–Village of Cabanaconde, Peru.

Trekking Colca Canyon Peru

Typical house – Cabanaconde, Peru.

Trekking Colca Canyon Peru

Mule driver in the village center.

Trekking Colca Canyon Peru

 

Trekking Colca Canyon Peru

 

Trekking Colca Canyon Peru

 

Trekking Colca Canyon Peru

 

Trekking Colca Canyon Peru

“Boarding House” – Cabanaconde, Peru.

Trekking Colca Canyon Peru

Cabanaconde woman — Cabanaconde, Peru.

Trekking Colca Canyon Peru

Plaza de Armas — Cabanaconde, Peru.

Trekking Colca Canyon Peru

 

Trekking Colca Canyon Peru

Colca Canyon, Peru.

Trekking Colca Canyon Peru

Condor monument — road from Cabanaconde to Chivay, Peru.

Trekking Colca Canyon Peru

Mototaxis–Road from Cabanaconde to Chivay, Peru.

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Trekking Colca Canyon Peru

Descending into the town of Chivay by bus.

Trekking Colca Canyon Peru

The Peru Altiplano.

Trekking Colca Canyon Peru

Trekking Colca Canyon Peru
5 July 2010

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