From Ciara – Bit behind on the blog entry, so lets see how good my memory is.
Colca Canyon trek came after Lake Titicaca. Very refreshing to wear shorts and a t shirt trekking and not have to worry about snow! We all enjoyed the trek a lot. The first day was quite hard, walking down a very steep mountain for nearly five hours, but we were rewarded by some hot springs at our campsite. Day two and three involved walking across the mountains from campsite to campsite. On day 2 some of us lazed in the sun in the afternoon at the campsite while others (Greg, Emily, Max and Matt) visited a fairly nearby waterfall. Day 3 took us to an amazing campsite, it had a swimming pool and a bar! After a couple of beers and a game of ultimate frisbee in the pool we were relaxed and ready for the next day, which involved walking back up the very steep mountain. A very early wake up meant we got to our destination by 11. We then spent the day at a hostel eating pasta, pizza and watching movies.
The following day we caught the bus back to Arequipa. A traditional after trek night out and the two month anniversary of Australia Day meant that we all got very merry… Some more than others… There was one particular incident when we were trying to get into a club and Greg, our leader, “distracted” the bouncer and tried to get us to run in. Not sensible. A lot of dancing took place in the club we eventually found ourselves in, although there was also a lot of falling over and James and Ciara were warned to stop dancing for their own health.
We had the next day to relax and then caught a very luxurious overnight bus to Ica, where we spent one night in a hotel! We spent the day by the pool in the sun, reading, sleeping and playing various games of table tennis (which the boys lost), and then at 4 30 we all got in a buggy and went into the dunes to sandboard. Some were more skilled than others and there were a couple of pretty bad falls. Max went down the biggest one without turning once and crashed at the end which we all winced at from the top. Huge also damaged her ribs pretty badly. Not ideal.
After a very nice meal at the hotel and a good nights sleep we got a bus to the ´Poor Mans Galapagos’, some islands off the coast. You can’t actually get off the boat and although most fell asleep on the way back it was a good tour. We then took taxis to the main road and hitched a bus to Lima which was quite bizarre… As soon as we got off the bus in Lima we went straight to visit the other Quest project, Villa Maria. It was great to see another project and meet the other group. We enjoyed a barbeque and drinks in the evening which resulted in rather an unfortunate accident and a midnight hospital visit but all in all was a great night. We slept on the roof and the next day spent some more time seeing their project. We left mid afternoon and returned to central Lima where we stocked up on McDonalds and Starbucks before getting another (very nice) overnight bus to Huaraz. We spent a couple of days in Huaraz before trek, prepping and doing a day trek to some lakes.
Our third trek, which began in a town called Llamac, about four hours from Huaraz, was not quite as successful as the previous two. It seemed that everyone had something wrong with them, from upset stomachs to bad legs, which was not a good start. It was refreshing though as we had donkeys to carry all our food and tents so our bags were a lot lighter. We also had a communal dining and cooking tent which protected us from the rain and the cold in the evening. The first day was a long one, about seven hours. Everyone was a bit down when we arrived, and napped in their tents. James was suffering badly from altitude, Ciara’s leg was hurting a lot (walking was not a good idea), Jess and T were both ill, Huge’s ribs hurt, just not great. The next day Greg ended up going back down with James, Jess and T to Llamac as it was so bad. Huge and Ciara stayed at the campsite all day and Max and Matt went with Emily and our guide Pablo to visit some more lakes. That night was pretty miserable, it started raining around 2 and didnt stop. In fact it got harder, and there was some hail as well. We had a mini lagoon in front of our tents after a bit and had to move them up the hill which meant when we woke up the next morning we had slid to the bottom…The next day we walked back to Llamac, Ciara on the horse Negro because of her leg.
We were all a bit relieved when the trek was over, it was good but just quite problematic. We spent that evening eating either Chinese or chicken and chips takeaway and watched the Hangover at the house where we are staying tv.
The next day we were supposed to be canyoning but it was cancelled because of all the rain so we just had a free day. Jess’s birthday was on trek but it wasnt the best day so we celebrated it in Huaraz instead. Her present involved a trip to the salon where she had her nails done and then Huge, Ciara and Jess decided to get their hair styled!! Very, very funny, we each chose a picture and then they tried to copy it. A styling, which ended up taking two hours, only cost the equivalent of three pounds! Then that night we went out for dinner and then to a bar, which ended up being a very late night. Greg in fact never came back, he was found at 7 in the morning still in the bar with the cleaner!
That takes us to today, where this morning we did a bridge swing, literally they tied ropes to this random bridge on a road and we jumped off it… Free afternoon which will involve more movies and tonight we are getting an overnight bus to the coast, where we are spending the weekend surfing!