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My Journey Round The World » Blog Archive » Colca Canyon

My Journey Round The World

279 days on the road…

Colca Canyon


Colca Canyon is the 2nd deepest one in the world, with it’s 3 200m, bigger than the Grand Canyon in the US, only 1 615m - even if this one is more impressive to see! To arrive there you need to drive over a 4 910 m pass – Pass Patapampa or called Volcan Pass – and even if you’re only sitting in the bus, I could feel the height in my chest!

Arriving in Cabanaconde – 3 280 m – around 12pm, we had a good lunch – after telling our guide that we cannot walk 2:30 hours without eating anything, knowing that we had breakfast at 4am before leaving Arequipa – We ate a typical soup: Caldo Blanco made with pastas, rice, beef and lamb meat as well as beans, follow-up with a main dish: Lentejon: lentils, peppers, potatoes, beef and chicken meat. After that we were ready to leave – would have been great to have a good siesta! – for more than 2 hours hike down to Sangalle, also called the Oasis, where we could have a small swim before carrying on to our refuge for the night. Unfortunately  we  arrived a bit too late for that… After a short break, drimkimg coca tea, we heald to Cosñirhua where we spent the night. We had a good diner (Soup: pastas, pumpkin, carottes, potatoes, beans as welle as omellette with sweet potatoes and rice and an avocado salad. Delicious!) with the landlady in her kitchen, close to fire as it was quite cold. Smoothly wake up and 2 hours walk to the next village – lucky us as Ariane wasn’t feeling very well.

Next morning we had to wake up at 2am in order to climb back to Cabanaconde, more than 1 000 m difference in height from where we were. Our nice guide wanted us to climb 4 hours without any breakfast! No way!!! We finally managed to get 2 pancakes before starting hiking in the dark with frontal lamp – we couldn’t even see the stars… :( Still while having little breaks we managed to see some shooting stars and we, of course, saw the sunrise!!! Small compensation… Our guide lost us after 2 hours walk – we were too slow – and Gregoire finished with our backpacks as we were absolutly exhausted… :( Anyway, we eventualy we made it to the top and met our guide who asked us to hurry up – couln’t beleive it ! – in order to catch the bus to reach the Cruz del Condor. At 6:30 am this bus is totaly full as all the locals are going there to sell their products… We ended up standing & totaly squeezed for more than 30min before reaching the point where we didn’t see any condors – only the biggest colibri in the worl, as Swiss man told me… - When taking the bus back to Arequipa, I found out that their is not only 2 bus per day going this way – as our guide said – but nearly 1 every hour… Whatever… We survived!


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Finalement, c’était plutôt une bonne chose que le guide nous ait lâché… Ça nous a épargné les “Allez mes amis, il faut se dépêcher un peu…”, et on a pu profiter du calme, des étoiles (filantes ou pas), et du lever du soleil!
Et puis le voyage dand le bus local, entassé entre les sacs de bouffe, de souvenirs, et la population en costume traditionnel, c’était plutôt sympa!

N’empêche j’ai jamais vu ça un guide qui lâche ses troupes sur la route, incroyable, ça m’a coupé le sifflet ce coup-là! En plus c’est pas comme si on avait pas vu plusieurs croix sur la route avec les inscriptions “ici est tombé untel dans le précipice…”. Et untel il avait pas un guide qui s’appellait Marcos par hasard? En tout cas partir à 2h du matin pour 4 heures de marche dans le noir avec 1000m de dénivelé super raide, c’est limite, mais sans petit-déjeuner, c’est pas humain! ;-) ))

Un jour, y’aura peut-être une croix pour Marco “Notre Ami”, qui se sera fait malencontreusement poussé dans le ravin par un de ses clients!!!

Question subsidiaire: tu fais comment pour poster un commentaire à 1:37, alors qu’il n’est que 00:42???? :o )

Ah, j’ai ma réponse… GMT! :o )

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