Colca Canyon, I learn once again you get what you pay for

Terry and I decided we wanted to take a bus trip to Colca Canyon. Colca Canyon is the second largest canyon in the world. Peru is also home to the largest canyon but Colca has gotten better reviews. We weren´t very discriminatory and we visited a young lady who was manning a bus trip booth in downtown Arequipa.

The travel tour sales lady seemed nice enough and described a 2 day trip including a tour of the canyon, 1 night´s hotel, one breakfast and all transporations and guide. All this for an unbelievable low price of $25. This was low even by Peruvian standards. Being the cheapskates that we are we immediately handed over the money and only afterwards did we share a second thought.

The next morning a minibus arrives at our hotel chock full of other unsuspecting tourists, mainly from Spain and a few from England. Things start off well enough but we found out too late that the roads from Arequipa to Colca are almost nonexistant. We looked lovingly at the large tour buses with good shocks on them as they passed us. The other tourists on the bus seemed nice enough but they could definitely outshine me, which is hard to do, when it comes to the nickle and dime routine. I have never seen anybody shave fractions of Solas down to the tenth on every single restaurant purchase.

Our tour guide claimed she had a handle on english but much of what came out her mouth sounded liked: "The terrorists in the mountains have trouble with adequate immigration" when she actually meant "The mountain terraces are difficult to irrigate." The entire trip I though Osama was behind the bus.

The hotel wasn´t bad, if you don´t mind mice waking you up every 10 minutes but it did have agua caliente which is a rare find in this neck of the woods. We had 2 lovely hikes in the mountains on this trip, one brit and one spaniard was faster than me, I need more practice. I finally got to realize my dream of soaking in a thermal bath which was nice.

I fly home tomorrow in the PM, I will have my last $10 massage from Miguel right before the plane leaves. I hate to leave that man. I will post some more pics when I get home because these computers in Arequipa suck.

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