Such Great Heights

Another 5am wake up call for me. This time I was headed from Puno to a town near the Colca Canyon called Yanque. This was one of the most stunning landscapes I’ve seen. For once I was thankful for the weird weather in Peru during dry season. Everything was covered in snow and it was be beautiful. When we made stops to view the landscape, people were actually having snowball fights!

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After a six hour ride with a few stops we made it to the Colca Canyon region. I was picked up by the owner of my hotel, Guillermo. He was so welcoming and friendly. When we arrived at Killawasi Lodge, I immediately understood why everyone on Tripadvisor recommends staying at least two nights. It was for sure the nicest place I’ve stayed in Peru, and after my crappy hotel in Puno, very reassuring.

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Guillermo asked if I wanted to go on a three hour hike, but I wasn’t feeling great, so I passed. It was a good thing I did because I ended up getting pretty sick. After all the bus rides, changes in altitude, and changes in temperature I guess it wasn’t too unexpected. And if you are going to be sick on a trip, this lodge would definitely be the place. The staff kept coming to check on me and bringing me Coca tea for the altitude. They were beyond helpful. I barely left my room, and I’m sorry I only got to stay one night, but that place gets five stars in my book for sure.

Another early pick up and on the way to Colca Canyon. Another stunning landscape. It’s the third deepest canyon in the world, and about twice as deep as the Grand Canyon.

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In the Canyon, there are two groups of people. Back in the day they practiced cranial deformation to differentiate themselves. Think foot binding but for your head. Could anything sound more painful? Now they just wear different hats. Why hadn’t they just thought of that before?

The main attraction in the Canyon, besides the stunning landscape, is the Cruz del Condor, an area where huge Andean Condors fly. Only the lucky get to see them, since they don’t come out everyday. Apparently the Condor Gods were on our side today because we saw about fifty of them. The way they glide and soar from above really was quite amazing.

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After lunch and a walk around the town with my new friend Allison, who unfortunately was heading right back to Lima, it was back on the bus and on our way to Arequipa, but of course not before a few more stops for photo ops.

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I’ve finally arrived in Arequipa, my home for the next week. Spanish class starts tomorrow!

Love,

Julie

“Such Great Heights” -The Postal Service

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