Easter in Arequipa

With the advantage of being able to plan a few months in advance, me and Phil discussed a short trip while he had an extra two days off for the Easter weekend.

It meant we’d be able to travel together for 4 days and Phil booked us some flights down to Arequipa.

We’d been here before of course but there was a specific trip that was out of our budget the first time around and had stayed on our minds – a trip to the Colca Canyon (the second deepest in the world and more than twice as deep as the Grand Canyon) where the highlight is seeing condors soar only metres away.

So we flew south (after a huge debacle at the airport that almost meant we missed our flight) and took our first day in the city to look around.

We also visited a rooftop bar on the main square and had a couple of drinks while we saw a crucifixion re-enactment play out to for the entertainment of the locals.

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city_mountainIt was good to be back traveling with Phil again.

That day, we also booked our trip and decided on a two day trek which would take us into the canyon and back out while visiting viewpoints to see the condors from.

In short, the trek is a poorly organised affair and we were led by a person who was guide in only his title.

But what poor organisation can’t take away from is incredible scenery.

Once we’d visited the main condor viewpoint where plenty of Easter weekend tourists lined up to get a good photo, we began the trek in earnest.

We dipped down into the canyon and soon realised the two day sojourn would be a little tougher than we expected. Regardless the canyon is an epic piece of nature and it was a pleasure to be there.

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After a far from nutritious lunch, we made our way across a bridge to the other side of the canyon and started working our way along terraces to where we would stay for the night.

Our accommodation was in a place called Oasis and each set of lodgings contained a pool. But that’s where the luxury ended.

Not one’s to fuss over a bed for the night, me and Phil had a quick dip in the pool, ate dinner with the rest of the hiking group and put our heads down in our stone & bamboo hut.

We were woken by our guide.

Our alarm had failed to go off and the group had already started the hike out of the canyon. You begin around 5am to avoid the heat and climb for 3 hours.

So me and Phil rushed to pack our things and get on the trail.

But we were reluctant to rush the hike. For one, it was almost vertical for 3 hours straight and secondly we were here for the scenery, it wasn’t going to pass us by.

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We wrapped up the weekend with our flight back and then Easter Sunday spent with the family of Phil’s girlfriend, Mayi, who have all treated me so well, genuinely taken an interest in me and I’m ever so thankful for their patience with my ‘Spanish’.

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