Thursday, 5 June 2014

Off to Colca Canyon!

Guess what? We had a 5:30 am wakeup call! Awe inspiring vacation, yes. Relaxing, no! Fortunately there were only six of us on the bus, so were able to stretch out and have a good sleep!

After a few hours of driving, we stopped at a viewpoint over Lake Lagunillas. This is a beautiful lake, very high up in the mountains, with sheep and llamas grazing, as well as, yes, you guessed it, craft stands!

Baby alpaca...too cute!
Five minutes down the road we stopped at another lake to see flamingos, but they were too far away to get a good picture. There were lots of alpacas, though!
Before long, we came upon an the Chicura volcano, which was erupting. Fortunately, it was far off in the distance so we were safe. Unfortunately, it was too far away to get a good picture!
We stopped for lunch at a quaint (!) little restaurant for lunch before heading off to Chivay.
Shortly after leaving the restaurant, we came upon a herd of picuñas. These are protected in Peru, as they were being overhunted for their fine coats.
We made a quick stop at another overlook to look at a whole series of volcanoes and.... to shop at the craft stands! This is pretty desolate country, with little vegetation except for low scrub, and volcanic rocks that were spewed hundreds of years ago.

The high mountain vistas are spectacular, though, and we are ever so grateful to be riding instead of hiking!

We arrived in Chivay, but there was no one to pick us up. We have been so spoiled on this trip that we didn't quite know what to do! After about half an hour, a man who worked for the bus company offered to drive us out to our hotel, the Colca Canyon Lodge. It was worth the wait, because this is an amazing place!

Our room
The view from our room
We got into our bathing suits right away and headed over to the hot springs.
The walk to the hot springs
The hot springs come out of the mountain at 80 degrees centigrade, and have to be cooled to a lovely 38 degrees. Since we were on a roll, we decided to finish off our afternoon by going for a hot stone massage in the spa. We both fell asleep on the table. This is such a beautiful place, we might never leave! Ahh, so relaxing!














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