This weekend, Aunt Toni and I went to Colca Canyon which is 3 hours away or so by bus and is, as we learned, the deepest canyon in the world! Our tour guide, Ellie, was great: very informative, full of interesting facts (as well as a little fiction as well), and had a habit of using the expression, "You could appreciate..." quite often when talking to our group. We could appreciate the pre-Incan ruins, the coca tea, the bathroom. And we did:
*3 Australian travelers also in our group and a bunch of fun.
*Coca tea leaf chewing to help with the altitude (and which made the side of my mouth go numb).
*Llamas, alpacas, and vicunas.
*High desert passes with a smattering of slush and snow.
*Green, lush, terraced valleys.
*Our guide Ellie trying to sacrifice Aunt Toni to appease the mountain gods by pushing her over the cliff.
*More alpaca - this time for lunch!
*Open air hot springs under the twilight skies over Chivay (the capital of Colca Canyon).
*5 am wake-up knock so that we could get under way to see the Andean condors.
*Dancing with an elderly Peruvian in a traditional dance.
*The strange beast of tourism - I'm used to it in Alaska but it's interesting to be on the other side.
*Driving over/through a river that used to be the road.
*Building little stone statues over three buried coca leaves (facing the east) and making a wish (and repeating it three times - I have no idea if, like birthday candle wishes, it won't come true if you tell people).