Journey to the Colca Valley!

On our last night in Arequipa, we dined at a 15th centuru mansion. An interesting building that used to be the palace of the Archbishop. Apparently it has survived numerous earthquakes because of the arched ceilings.
The internet here is quite erratic. Yesterday afternoon I spoke to Rob on Facetime with no wobbles or interruptions. An hour later I wanted to buy an alpaca sweater in the hotel shop and she was unable to connect to Mastercard. It didn’t mean that I saved money though, Visa worked very efficiently!
Alpaca shops are everywhere, sometimes the alpaca is mixed with wool or acrylic and is consequently a bit cheaper. Vicuna is also a local product. A shawl in vicuna costs around $1000 American.
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This morning we drove through the pass in the volcanos and through the most stunning ladscapes.
Vicunas alpacas llamas and guanicos are part of the cameloid species. Camels and dromedaries developed in the east and here in S America the vicunas and guanicos developed. Many live on a plateau high in tbe. Mountains in a reserve area which we travelled through this morning. They are unable to store water like the eastern cameloids. The wild vicuna when domesticated become alpacas and the wild guanicos become llamas.

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We stopped at a little stall in the middle of the reserve. We were encouraged to drink a concoction of herbs and leaves meant to help us cope with the altitude. 4200 metres and not possible to move at normal speed. Everyone moving slowly like in a trance and feeling a little light headed despite the witches brew!
Everywhere I go here I am struck by the contrast between the stunning landscape and the disgusting litter at the side of the road everywhere. Similarly in the towns, the churches and public buildings are magnificent noble architecture and the private houses and shops are thrown together, shanty structures with no design or attempt at beauty.

 

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The highest point in the pass, 4900 metres! Higher than Mont Blanc! Temperature  OoC!I was tempted to stay in the bus but what the h..l,  I’m only here once. VERY LIGHT HEADED!

Several of the group badly affected, but apart from a bit of woozy, I can say so far so good!

 

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We have arrived our home for the next two nights. Colca Lodge is built on a steep hill and is very rustic. There are steep uneven steps wherever you turn. Us old folk are moving around here with great care and puffing all the way!

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One Response to Journey to the Colca Valley!

  1. You’ve a better head for altitude than I…when I was in Breckenridge (3500metres) I was ill every day !

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