Fresh from the canyon

I’m just back from my two-day Colca Canyon excursion, which was surprisingly cool! I especially enjoyed seeing vicuñas in the wild on the first day – they are honestly the cutest animals in existence and I had been desperately hoping for a glimpse of them in South America ever since seeing them on the TV programme Tropic of Capricorn. Watching them from the roadside just made my day, as did getting the opportunity to stroke some llamas in the courtyard of the restaurant we visited for lunch! In the afternoon I went for a hike in the valley with the others, where we came across a pre-Incan graveyard of sorts among the rocks. It was quite grotesque to say the least, with sculls and bones strewn everywhere (they had clearly been messed around with to attract tourists, which I thought was a real shame and disrespectful to the dead), so I was glad to get away from there and back to our hotel. Despite being insanely deep, the canyon is still at high altitude and nights there are really cold, so our rooms were freezing! However, I was bemused and delighted to find that everyone staying in this hotel gets a hot water bottle at night because of the cold. I spent the night snuggled happily into a ball in bed with a hot water bottle!

We all set off further into the canyon early yesterday in order to catch sight of some condors, who only come out in the early morning. It was a great experience to witness these majestic birds soaring over the canyon, especially as it was such a clear day. Later we visited some hot springs, which was a good way to relieve some of the Inca Trail aches and pains!

Today I’m back in Arequipa, and again I’m immeasurably excited about going home. I can’t believe it’s only five days until I can see my mum and sister’s faces again – mega excitement! 😀 I’m still trying my best to pack in as much as possible before I leave, though. I spent the afternoon exploring the city’s monastery, which is a fascinating place. It’s like a city within a city, it’s so huge! I really got a sense of how difficult it must be to be a nun; these women are unbelievably dedicated and although I’m not religious at all, I can only admire them for what they do.

So, tonight I’m catching a nightbus to Nazca, where I’ll be another day closer to the end! Let’s go.

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