13 days ago
We *almost* booked a tour of the Colca Canyon. Every hostel in Arequipa makes it so easy. We were moments away from paying. But there was this nagging feeling, like we were convincing ourselves to do something we didn't really want to do. Doing it because it felt like we were supposed to do it, not because we actually wanted to do it. So we pumped the brakes, went back to our room.
After some legitimate soul searching about what we loved about our fun-as-hell roadtrippin' time across the US, it was that feeling of complete freedom and excitement that was absent with the tour. ===
We realized what we wanted, and it wasn't a guided tour of the Colca Canyon at all. We wanted an adventure. We wanted to explore it ourselves. ===
One of the world's deepest canyons...well, actually probably does require an introduction. The Colca Canyon is more than *twice* as deep as the Grand Canyon -- almost 11,000 feet. It's much wetter and greener than the Grand Canyon. And it's flanked on all sides by snowy mountains and stratovolcanoes, officially qualifying it as "Really Stupid Beautiful."
On our hike down to the river bottom, the ability to stop, to explore, to wander off path or just stare in awe at something for a while -- it's much harder with a guide. Don't get me wrong; some of the best guides, you're totally in sync with, and they truly enhance the experience. Case in point: belaying down into the abyss of a glacial waterfall in Wrangell St. Elias NP last summer in Alaska, and then ice climbing back out. Guide: Not only awesome, but also, uhh, kinnnnda necessary.
But other times, at least for us -- and *especially* when it's something we're practiced in and totally capable of -- with a guide, we just kinda feel like cattle. ===
So then! A 3 day, 2 night trek on our own👍👍 Luckily, we have an excellent compañera (pictured) that helped us plan our perfect route. Her meowtown services have been extremely helpful, 'specially given we had to catch the yawny 3am bus this morning to our current location -- the remote Southern Peruvian town of Cabanaconde -- the base camp for nearly all CC treks.
Updates and pics to follow! 😃 So psyched! Ttys!! 🏔️🌋 at Cabanaconde, Arequipa, Peru