After a couple of stressful weeks in the university, it was time for the Easter holiday – Semana Santa (Holy Week)! With 3 other girls from Austria, Faroe Islands and Germany we took off for 5 days in Arequipa, “the white city” of Peru. We booked ourselves into a nice hostel and booked a rafting trip and a trekking to the Colca Canyon, one of the deepest canyons in the world.
The first day of the trip we explored the city and its beautiful Plaza de Armas (main plaza). Arequipa is a beautiful city with a lot of colonial buildings and it has a very relaxed atmosphere. There are some beautiful squares, buildings and museums. It’s a really pleasure just to stroll around! After a short walk we decided to have lunch at one of the balcony´s surrounding the plaza. A stunning view, good pasta and some pisco sours later we returned to the hostel. It was a lovely place and we played some cards, had some beers and maybe even danced on the tables 😉
Rafting in Arequipa
The next day it was time for rafting! It was my second time rafting after I visited Lunahuana in the Sur Chico of Lima. But I was still very excited! We went with a very nice company, with 2 rafts, 2 safety kayaks and a photographer.
It was awesome again, but not as thrilling as the first time. The water in the gorge was very shallow. So really rafting became avoiding big rocks and not trying to fall over in the river 😛 But we made it and had a great time!! Rafting was a good adrenaline kick again and I really start to like rafting!
That night it was an early bed time, as our pick-up for our Colca Canyon tour would show up at the door at 3h30 AM!
Hiking the Colca Canyon
At 03h30AM we were all set and ready to leave for another adventure!! The bus came and took us for a ride of about 3,5 hour to one of the main villages in the Canyon – Chivay.
Here we had some breakfast before leaving to Cruz del Condor! Here we saw about 7-8 condos so close by! They were really showing off :), but such amazing animals!! Due to the semana santa there were about 500 other people with us but nevertheless we were able to make so good pictures!
After this we got dropped off with our group. We were with 12 persons & our guide at the beginning of the trek next to Cabanconde at 3287 meters altitude. We were with 4 Polish guys, a French-New-Zealand couple and 4 blondes turned into 5 blonds when another Dutch girl joined the group 🙂
First we were going to descend 900 meters into the canyon which took about 3,5 hour. This was not fun for the knees and pretty exhausting in the hot sun, but the views made it all worth it! Then we climbed up again for a bit and reached our first stop, San Juan de Chuccoho at 2300 meters altitude. Here we could relax for the rest of the day and make a quiet night.
Day 2 of the trek we left around 9AM which was a bit more decent hour than the day before. We visited some pueblos on the way, visited a small museum and in the afternoon reached the oasis of Sangalle. We spent the night in a hostel with a great pool and a volleyball field. Just felt like camping in Holland 🙂 .
What goes down, must come up
We had an early night again, as we were gonna leave at 05h00AM to climb about 1200 meters out of the Canyon!!! This was a very hard climb but I made it within 3 hours! I was very happy with the visit to the hot springs afterwards to relax a bit 🙂 . After lunch, we made our way back to Arequipa while visiting some little villages where we could by some handcrafts, see lamas and enjoy the view over the Valley of the Volcanoes!!
We arrived at the hostel on Sunday night and we were exhausted but satisfied 🙂 The next day we did some more sightseeing and exploring in the city, which was nice to relax. An amazing 5 days in Arequipa we spent, a lot of exercise and beautiful view!!
5 Days in Arequipa .. Back to School
Tomorrow, Tuesday 26th of april, University starts again with a lecture at 07h30, and about 3 papers to write. The courses I am taking are pretty demanding but keeping up pretty well so far! Gave my first presentations in Spanish which was very exciting, but I think people understood me more or less :P. There is still one teacher who doesn’t understand me at all – he still thinks I´m from France and always picks me out and asks me how companies do this or that in France.. hmmm.. 🙂
So whats up next? 5-9th of May Iquitos which is gonna be amazing! Cant wait to get into the jungle. Then, 15-20 of May midterm exams, and I really need to study a bit 🙂 . After that, 21-28 May Panama to visit a friend! Exciting times a head 🙂