Sunday, March 12, 2017

Arequipa To Chivay

So on Friday, March 3rd, the Giardino van picked us up for the interpreted journey to Chivay and beyond to Coporaque and then, next day, the Colca Canyon. The journey was marred by the guide, a Peruvian supremacist who claimed to be a university professor--a part-time adjunct, I suspect, at a regional campus--and a Swiss woman who was unhappy about the service and argued interminably about what she had paid and what she was owed. Also about whatever wild claims the guide was making. Our policy has always been to go on guided group tours, however small, only as a last resort, only if there is no other way to see the site. That was the case here, and it confirmed the policy.
Early morning, I finally got to see Misti, alarmingly close to
the city; and active

Arequipa swore off human vs bull fighting years ago (who likes
the lop-sided scores?), and is into bull vs bull fighting; thus the
city emblem

Way out in the burbs, Jurassic Park

Up into the mountains; lots of people have died on this curve

Big cement plant; minerals are Peru's biggest industry

Backside of Pichu Pichu

Indeed; camelids, like guanacos, llamas, and alpacas; the vicunas
are wild, protected, on a national park preserve here

Other side of Misti

Alpaca country too

Alpaca drama along this Roman road; the newborn won't cross
(our driver has stopped and is waiting on the mom); really is a
newborn--the placenta is still not fully discharged from the mom;
after a few minutes, the mom crosses and retrieves the baby;
all is well; we drive on

At the pass; I recalibrated my altimeter before we left Arequipa

All the peaks, volcanoes on the horizon thus identified

Cairn city; only the Norwegians are this cairn-happy

More alpacas, vicunas

Descending, below, the town of Chivay

Us, gasping

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