ON THE WAY TO AREQUIPA
Night at the edge in Puno at Lake Titicaca
We arrive in Peru. We spend the first night in Puno. We do not stay here long. We stay in a hotel right next to the bus station. The city is not very pretty outside a pedestrian street in the center. Then we take the bus to Arequipa, the largest city in southern Peru.
Passage in front of Juliaca
We go through the suburbs of Juliaca that seem really poor. These are almost shantytowns in the midst of a desert landscape, and in the rain, one does not have the impression that Juliaca will enter the palmares of cities where life is good. On the bus, we hear the speeches of potions sellers of medicinal herbs and books of general culture, worthy of Fidel Castro. They speak during lead time. And it works, the seller of miraculous plants is a nice jackpot.
AREQUIPA THE BEAUTIFUL WHITE CITY
We finally arrive in Arequipa. The weather is still not good, but we are more than 2000 meters high and it is still hotter than in Bolivia. The city is really pretty. The colonial buildings of the center are all covered with a kind of white lime that comes from the volcano overlooking the city and the Plaza de Armas, with its palm trees, its cathedral and wooden balconies has a lot of charm. While strolling in the streets, we discover beautiful small inner courtyards.
In the evening, while trying to eat, we come across the creperie of the Alliance Francaise. We go to take a look at the menu and find a group of French and Belgians that Francois knows of Cordoba. We sit with them and order patties, a treat!
CHIVAY AND THE COLCA CANYON
In the pretty little town of Chivay
The next day we take a bus to Chivay, the first village at the beginning of Colca Canyon. The map that we collected at the tourist office indicates that there is a walk to do very close. We take the path that seems to be indicated but ultimately it is not good. In addition my knee always hurts and I can not walk long. We therefore fall back on the natural hot springs at half an hour’s walk from Chivay. In fact from sources we find real swimming pools. The water is hot, it’s nice.
The road of the condors
The next day we take a bus to Cruz del Condor, the best view of the canyon. We are piling into an old bus. We follow the canyon and the view of the precipice at the edge of the road is not very reassuring. It’s one of the deepest in the world, 3400 meters! In Cruz del Condor we have a great view. We see the condors that are floating in the currents of hot air. It really makes you want to trek three days to the bottom of the canyon, but unfortunately, with my knee, impossible. Grrr!