Quebrada Chilleja

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9 travelers at this place:

  • Day260

    Cabanaconde, Peru

    July 4, 2017 in Peru ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

    Colca Canyon.

    Cabanaconde is a quaint wee town sitting pretty on the ridge of the world's second deepest canyon; Colca Canyon. Colca's not like the Grand Canyon. It has a mountainous surround which makes the actual extent of the canyon and it's ridges almost impossible to discern. Nonetheless, it's jolly deep. It took us all day to get here by bus. The bus we hoped to catch didn't run on Sundays (of course) so we ended up waiting in the bus terminal for two hours before we even left. Not a good start.

    Fortunately we decided to splash out a little on our hostel in Cobanaconde (Pachamama, $15 pn ea) and were greeted by a fantastic group of staff when we arrived in the early evening. It was definitely what we needed after that painstakingly long day on crammed buses. Pachamama has it all, restaurant, bar, happy hour, bikes for rent, tours, a pizza oven, hot and powerful showers, great staff and a wealth of information on how to approach the canyon. (Seriously they made their own map with trail routes and explanations in incredible detail - much more valuable than the gimmicky tourist map the Canyon Authority gives you on paying your exorbitant $30 entrance fee).

    After much debate and a good old fashioned game of option-slinging we decided to spend two nights in the canyon. Then a German couple joined us for dinner. Now, I've seen tired people. I've seen grumpy people. I've seen upset and I've seen hungry. In fact, I've been all four. At once - and I'm sure most of you have witnessed it. But this was next level. This girl had long since bitten off more than she could chew and had spent most of her day on the back of a mule making an ass of herself in an effort to escape the depths of the canyon. Whilst she made good headway putting us off a canyon trek altogether, her boyfriend made feeble attempts to stick up for her lack of tenacity. It wasn't before long that we realised her recovery meal of choice was a lousy vegetable soup and swiftly disregarded all of their advice and further compressed our hike into just two days. If she'd been eating a llama steak or a family sized pizza we might have taken her more seriously. You are what you eat, right?

    We started day one nice and early to beat the heat. I finally accepted the weakness of my knee (in the face of a 1200m descent) and succumbed to a walking stick, much to my own disgrace. I'm glad I did 'cause walking that far down what is essentially steps might just have caused me to be the one on the back of a mule. We hit the base of the canyon before midday and after another hour or two more of up-downing we reached our destination of Llahuar; a tiny town at the base of the canyon. We lunched, changed and spent about four hours in the riverside hot pools like seals in the sun. I will note the trend of an increasing number of French (close to every single person staying here was French); a trend that will continue the more we explore Peru. The lack of power and therefore light, was cause for an early night which we embraced at the prospect of a daybreak start the following morning.

    Day two in the canyon was tough on the legs. The map told us we had nearly nine hours walking which would cover nearly 2000m in elevation gain. We left Llahuar fueled by two pancakes, half a banana and a quantity of strawberry jam so exessive it put the waiter in shock. The elevation of the oasis at Sangelle (our destination for lunch) is barely higher than Llahuar. How much climbing could there be? Only a fool would ask that question and fools we felt as we climbed virtually out of the canyon before descending all the way back down to river level. A cruel track.

    Sangalle is an oasis and a remarkable one at that. Usually oasii (what is the plural of oasis?), at least those I have seen, are not so vividly distinguishable. Sangalle is not one of those. Diverting water from a nearby tributary, they've created lush green foliage and several enticingly blue pools, which sharply contrast against the dry and dusty canyon walls. It's a glorious retreat from the dry canyon heat. Cat and I sussed a pool to ourselves and spent two lazy hours lounging and lunching in midday heat. The idea of ascending 1200m under a baking sun seemed to take a back seat to, well, not.

    Finally we pulled ourselves together and started labouring up. It was 3.5 hours of steep, rocky uphill on legs that had already carried us for four hours on similar terrain. They tired quickly but our lungs appreciated the lower altitude and we had great laughs picturing our German friend having the (worst) time of her life. It was also fantastic to have the trail entirely to ourselves, save for trains of mules which we passed hauling goods (not tired Germans as we expected). We made it to the top just before dark and returned to the comfort of our hostel with what a Peruvian calls a cold beer (off the shelf). All that remained to round of our journey to Colca Canyon was the great Andean Condor and an excessive amount of busing.

    The following morning we watched the flight of the Condors from a nearby mirador with about 300 other tourists. It was quite the spectacle and the giant birds swooped within just a few metres of us to really excite the snap happy bunch. We proceeded on two dreadfully long buses to Puno (Peru's equivalent to Nicaragua's Rivas - the town nobody wants to visit but everybody has to) with gratitude only for a swift transition and the front seat.

    We stayed a night in transit in a splendid but cold hostel (Inka's rest), where I came down with an unidentifiable illness which I carried onto the bus to Cuzco the very next day - to share with Peruvian passengers as they have shared with me. Cuzco will no doubt be a long stop. Cat and I are well and truely over the bus.
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  • Day45

    Views from the church

    November 13, 2017 in Peru ⋅ 🌙 19 °C

    The views from the church were amazing. By now, the rain was coming from all around. We could see the rain falling in the Colca Canyon and the hills on the opposite side of the church. The only place that was dry was where we were and towards the village. We rushed back to avoid getting drenched.

  • Day45

    Back to Cabanaconde

    November 13, 2017 in Peru ⋅ ⛅ 8 °C

    From the church on the hill, we managed to get back to the village before the rain started. At the main square, we also had some fried donuts like stuff the lady was selling.
    After that we were back at the hostel while it started raining.
    We repacked our day bags for the coming day since we would have to carry our things for the next 2 day's trek while we leave our main bags behind.
    Then in the evening, a major religious gathering happened in the main square with the speaker shouting some crazy stuff on the loudspeaker. Hristo actually dressed up and went out to see him. 😉
    It was 9 pm, time to sleep.
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  • Day47

    Back again in Cabanaconde

    November 15, 2017 in Peru ⋅ 🌬 8 °C

    From the viewpoint, I walked back to Cabanaconde along some lush green fields and was at the main square by about 12 pm. I went straight to one of the restaurants and had my lunch of Spagetti Arabiata with 2 huge glasses of fresh cold lemonade. That got the body temperature down and was very refreshing.
    After that, I went to make enquires about the bus schedules for our plan for the coming 2-3 days. Then I was back at our hostel and checked into a room to relax.
    About 4:30 pm Hristo came back. He was totally exhausted and walked in like a zombie. The look on his face confirmed my decision of not going to Tapay before the day's trek. He was totally pooped and looked in pretty bad shape. He had seen some very interesting sights in the ruins, there was even a huge pile of ancient human bones in one of the places but the walk, the sun and the lack of water had taken a pretty bad toll. After resting for a while and freshening up, we went for our dinner in the main square. We took a S/ 15 menu with soup and main dish. After the food, Hristo seemed to recover a bit from the tiredness and nausea. Hopefully, a good night's sleep would complete the recovery of the muscle aches as well. We went back to the hostel to sleep early.
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  • Day13

    Cabanaconde - Le départ

    January 9, 2017 in Peru ⋅ ⛅ 5 °C

    Nous prenons l'autobus à 3h du matin pour se rendre à Cabanaconde, aux portes du Canyon de Colca. En chemin, la température se refroidit et on a même droit à de la neige en altitude et à quelques précipitations! Nicolas, qui est toujours en shorts, commence à penser à changer de pantalons! On capotait un peu, car on commençait à se demander si on avait assez de vêtements chauds pour faire la randonnée... Nous nous arrêtons dans un petit village, Chivay, et par chance, aucune neige n'y ait. Fiou!! Et on s'arrête pour y déjeuner et reprendre la route aussitôt.

    La vue devient vite intéressante, car on longe le Canyon de Colca pour s'arrêter, environ une heure plus tard, au Mirador des Condors. Il fait super beau et on a 30 minutes pour explorer les lieux et tenter d'apercevoir des Condors. Pas de chance pour les condors, mais la vue sur le canyon reste incroyable et surprenante!

    Par la suite, nous nous rendons au départ de tous les treks où tous les autres passagers débarquent du bus pour débuter leur marche de 2 jours, celle la plus populaire à l'oasis de Sangalle (altitude de 2160 mètres). Cette destination est très prisée, mais tellement touristique. Nous avons donc décidé de faire une autre randonnée et c'est pourquoi nous restons dans le bus avec le chauffeur qui nous amène à destination : l'auberge Pachamama, à Cabanaconde. L'endroit est simple, mais fort sympathique. À notre arrivée, nous sommes accueillis par un français qui travaille là. Il est dynamique et répond à toutes nos questions et nous amène à notre chambre. On est dans le gros luxe: on a une douche avec eau chaude!! Croyez-nous, c'est pas tout le monde qui a ça!! En plus que le soir, la température baisse à environ 8 degré environ. Alors, il fait froid. Après avoir déposé nos sac à dos, on part explorer le village.

    Nous sommes passés par la place centrale et avons rapidement repéré une colline où siégeait une petite église. On a décidé d'y monter. Ça s'est relativement bien passé, mais on s'est vite aperçu que l'altitude de 3287 mètres de Cabanaconde complexifiait quelque peu l'ascension! On est essoufflé beaucoup plus facilement. On y est tout de même arrivé et on a pu admirer le paysage. D'un côté il y avait des montagnes et des rizières et de l'autre le village adjacent au canyon. Au loin, on pouvait voir d'autres montagnes des Andes avec leurs sommets enneigés. Quel spectacle!

    Nous redescendons puis allons au belvédère situé pas très loin de là. Là, encore la vue est incroyable. On peut voir les profondeurs du canyon et les villages et habitations éparpillées tout au fond. On voit entre autres Sangalle, l'oasis verdoyant, situé entre deux montagnes rougeâtres. Il faut aussi dire qu'il y a de l'activité thermale dans le canyon. On y trouve des geysers et des bains thermaux :-) Tout cela contribue à la coloration spéciale des rochers, tantôt gris, tantôt jaunes et orangés. De ces hauteur, on peut aussi avoir une bonne idée de ce qui nous attend le lendemain! Va falloir être en forme!

    Au souper, Pachamama hôtel est réputé pour ces fameuses pizzas au four à bois. En passant, Pachamama signifie : Mère Terre. Pour eux, c'est très important car c'est comme une divinité qu'ils se doivent de respecter. Donc, on s'assoit à table du restaurant et on fait même la connaissance de 2 femmes québécoises qui ont fait tout le Canyon en 5 jours! Wow!!! Quelles randonneuses! Et on fait aussi la jasette à deux autres français qui ont fait le canyon en 3 jours. On échange les conseils et on jase en attendant que la cuisine ouvre ses portes.

    À son ouverture, plusieurs personnes arrivent et c'est bondé de gens. C'était hyper sympa et très bon, en plus d'y avoir rencontré des gens sympas. Quelle belle soirée! On est maintenant prêts pour notre marché du lendemain.

    Pura Vida!
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  • Day68

    Colca Canyon jour1

    May 2, 2017 in Peru ⋅ ⛅ 31 °C

    Debout à 2h45 (parcequ'on aime décidément se lever tôt dans ce voyage), nous avons pris le bus toutistique pour nous rendre jusqu'au Colca canyon où nous allions entamer nos 3 jours de treck. Après un premier arrêt "petit déjeuner" dans un petit village, nous sommes allé admirer les condors qui survolaient le canyon en son point le plus élevé. C'était vraiment magnifique et impressionnant de pouvoir les voir de si prêt et en si grand nombre! Nous aurions aimé pouvoir les observer plus longtemps mais nous n'avions malheureusement que 40min. Ensuite nous sommes allé jusqu'au village de Cabanaconde où notre guide Roy nous attendait pour entamer notre treck. Nous avons donc commencer notre descente vers Llahuar. Il y a environ 1100 mètres de dénivelé entre Cabanaconde et le fond de la vallée où coule le rio Colca donc nos batons de marche nous ont bien servi car nous n'avons fait quasiment que descendre un petit sentier de cailloux assez glissant sous un soleil de plomb. Le paysage était très sec et les points de vue à couper le souffle. Après 5h de marche (seulement 1h de montée), nous sommes arrivé a Llahuar où nous avons pu déjeuner en admirant la vue plongeante sur la rivière. Après une petite sieste nous sommes allé savourer les eaux thermales dans les bassin qui apprenaient à notre auberge et qui se trouvaient juste au pied de la rivière. Nous avons trempé toute la fin de l'après-midi en discutant avec les autres treckers jusqu'à la nuit tombée où nous avons pu admirer les étoiles et la Voie lactée. C'était vraiment magique!Read more

  • Day10

    Cola Canyon

    October 5, 2017 in Peru ⋅ ⛅ 7 °C

    Hier noch einige Bilder aus dem Cola Canyon...
    Bei dem eine Bild ist die Oase zu erkennen, das ist die Übernachtungsstation für die Leute, die in den Canyon gehen.

    Die Rinne in der Straße diente nicht nur für Regenwasser (am Frühstückstisch saßen wir bei dem Schauspiel in erster Reihe) :-/ Kaffee hat trotzdem noch geschmeckt. Ab 3000 m Höhe gab es zum Frühstück übrigens Cocablätter, allerdings nicht sonderlich schmackhaft...

    Pollo (Hühnchen) gibt es selbst im aller kleinsten Ort...
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Quebrada Chilleja

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