I am safely and successfully returned from my weekend excursion to Arequipa and Colca Canyon. It was an awesome weekend with some firsts for me. All the people I went with are wonderful and I really enjoyed hanging out with them. However, I have been up since 4 am so tonight, here's the basics; pictures to come.
Thursday: We flew from Lima to Arequipa Thursday night and stayed in a hostal that night. (My first!)
Friday: Got up early and took a 6 hour bus ride to Cabanaconde with gorgeous views of the countryside, mountains and canyons on the way. We arrived in the afternoon and hiked down to the bottom of Colca Canyon. (Which, by the way, is the second deepest canyon in the world. The deepest is nearby in Peru as well. I'm told Colca is about twice as deep as the Grand Canyon.) We actually finished our hike in the dark which, although crazy and not something I ever need to do again, was actually an amazing example of how my programmates are awesome.
Saturday: Up early again to hike back up. Again, amazing views and great company but a very difficult hike. High altitude just makes everything harder. We hung around in Cabanaconde for a bit then took a bus back to Arequipa.
Sunday: Up at 4 when the rest of the group got in. (They took a 9pm bus. Yikes.) Walked around Arequipa and saw the Plaza de Armas and the Santa Catalina convent. Arequipa is a beautiful city. Had a delicious lunch then flew back to Lima. Hasta la proxima