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1


El Cañon del Colca
By Pierre

The highest canyon in the world is located in... Peru! It reaches a depth of 4160m from the higher point to the bottom of the canyon. We had only one desire: go down there and explore!

2



Let's meet at Cabanaconde

We split ourselves for two days: Benoît climbed three thousands meters above sea level of the volcano Misti near Arequipa while I was exploring the Machu Picchu. We had planned the meeting point at Cabanaconde, the departure point of all tracks to the canyon. I had to catch up Benoit despite a very tight timing: leaving Cusco the evening to arrive in Chivay, then Cabanaconde before 1pm.

First bus: success - I arrived in Juliaca at four in the morning.

Second bus: flat tyre - the bus took one hour of late!

At 10am, I left the bus to hitchhike and finally I was welcomed in a minibus of tourists a half hour later.

Lucky shot in Chivay! A minibus was leaving immediately to Cabanaconde.

So I arrived... one hour late. Benoit was gone.

3



View from the top, in Cabanaconde

The canyon was waiting for me, majestic and so huge. I yelled "Benoît" but the only echo answered. I looked at the map: between four and five hours going down until the bottom. There, Benoit will certainly take a bath in the hot springs of Llahuar. There, I wanna catch him up.

4



The valley

The path goes down on the flank of the slope, from ridges to ridges. The view was stunning. I carried on, hoping that I chose the good way. Shortly after, I saw a footstep. Size forty-five shoe. Only Benoit in this whole country could have that long feet.

5





I started to feel tiredness. I only slept few in the bus and descending without any break was cruel. The ankles were still holding on but I needed to arrive before Benoît left Llahuar! I crossed the bridge without damages and without paying attention to the small geysers in the river.

6



The desertic village of Llahuar

Here I was in this small village badly indicated on the map. Lost and in a hurry, I was searching desperately a soul to find my way. I asked the only man I found:
"Have you seen a tall man with a magnificent moustache, and a black and orange bag?
-¡Sí, había diez minutos!"

7



Reunion in Llahuar

I arrived close to the hot spring and started to call Benoît. Still no answer. Then a man approached and asked:
"¿Eres un amigo de Benoît?"
"Si, si!"
He opened his door and just in front of me, Benoît was chilling out with a fresh lemonade in his hand. In my arms!
We changed of beverage to something adapted for the circumstances: the beer. We had to celebrate this adventure in the thermal waters (see also challenge 15: thanks Gautier).

8



Second day

The day after, we hit the road to Fure, a little lost village up in the mountains around the canyon. The way was steep and full of traps (what we can't see on this photo is the swing bridge made to avoid this obstacle).

9



Animals, animals everywere !

The brown dog was following Benoît since Cabanaconde; the black one joined the group in Llahuar. We wondered if the donkeys would either follow us...

10



Llatica

It's a small village only accessible by feet, surrounded by green cultures and irrigation canals, a traditional village.

11



Fure

Even more isolated, this village built mountainside only accepts the passage of men and horses by the narrow path that leads to there. Inhabitants are living from agriculture, especially plantations of prickly pear trees (a kind of cactus), from community exchanges and from the low touristic inflow. Some houses improvised themselves home stay. The trail that crosses the village continues to Huaruro waterfall or to an even higher village called Tocallo.

12



On the way...

A condor! A real one! (Little wink for Tom). The legendary animal was hovering over the canyon, looking for some food or hot air streams to rise again in the sky effortlessly.

13



Mirador Apacheta

Such a view!

14



Oasis Sangalle

The completely artificial oasis is only aimed to host tourists before the one thousand meters ascend to Cabanaconde, tomorrow.

15



The third day.

Two energic hours, instead of the three hours announced, has been enough to go up to Cabanaconde.

16





Confortably installed in the local bus, we left the place with one regret: two weeks wouldn't be enough to visit the whole place...

1


El Cañon del Colca
By Pierre

The highest canyon in the world is located in... Peru! It reaches a depth of 4160m from the higher point to the bottom of the canyon. We had only one desire: go down there and explore!



Let's meet at Cabanaconde

We split ourselves for two days: Benoît climbed three thousands meters above sea level of the volcano Misti near Arequipa while I was exploring the Machu Picchu. We had planned the meeting point at Cabanaconde, the departure point of all tracks to the canyon. I had to catch up Benoit despite a very tight timing: leaving Cusco the evening to arrive in Chivay, then Cabanaconde before 1pm.

First bus: success - I arrived in Juliaca at four in the morning.

Second bus: flat tyre - the bus took one hour of late!

At 10am, I left the bus to hitchhike and finally I was welcomed in a minibus of tourists a half hour later.

Lucky shot in Chivay! A minibus was leaving immediately to Cabanaconde.

So I arrived... one hour late. Benoit was gone.



View from the top, in Cabanaconde

The canyon was waiting for me, majestic and so huge. I yelled "Benoît" but the only echo answered. I looked at the map: between four and five hours going down until the bottom. There, Benoit will certainly take a bath in the hot springs of Llahuar. There, I wanna catch him up.



The valley

The path goes down on the flank of the slope, from ridges to ridges. The view was stunning. I carried on, hoping that I chose the good way. Shortly after, I saw a footstep. Size forty-five shoe. Only Benoit in this whole country could have that long feet.





I started to feel tiredness. I only slept few in the bus and descending without any break was cruel. The ankles were still holding on but I needed to arrive before Benoît left Llahuar! I crossed the bridge without damages and without paying attention to the small geysers in the river.



The desertic village of Llahuar

Here I was in this small village badly indicated on the map. Lost and in a hurry, I was searching desperately a soul to find my way. I asked the only man I found:
"Have you seen a tall man with a magnificent moustache, and a black and orange bag?
-¡Sí, había diez minutos!"



Reunion in Llahuar

I arrived close to the hot spring and started to call Benoît. Still no answer. Then a man approached and asked:
"¿Eres un amigo de Benoît?"
"Si, si!"
He opened his door and just in front of me, Benoît was chilling out with a fresh lemonade in his hand. In my arms!
We changed of beverage to something adapted for the circumstances: the beer. We had to celebrate this adventure in the thermal waters (see also challenge 15: thanks Gautier).



Second day

The day after, we hit the road to Fure, a little lost village up in the mountains around the canyon. The way was steep and full of traps (what we can't see on this photo is the swing bridge made to avoid this obstacle).



Animals, animals everywere !

The brown dog was following Benoît since Cabanaconde; the black one joined the group in Llahuar. We wondered if the donkeys would either follow us...



Llatica

It's a small village only accessible by feet, surrounded by green cultures and irrigation canals, a traditional village.



Fure

Even more isolated, this village built mountainside only accepts the passage of men and horses by the narrow path that leads to there. Inhabitants are living from agriculture, especially plantations of prickly pear trees (a kind of cactus), from community exchanges and from the low touristic inflow. Some houses improvised themselves home stay. The trail that crosses the village continues to Huaruro waterfall or to an even higher village called Tocallo.



On the way...

A condor! A real one! (Little wink for Tom). The legendary animal was hovering over the canyon, looking for some food or hot air streams to rise again in the sky effortlessly.



Mirador Apacheta

Such a view!



Oasis Sangalle

The completely artificial oasis is only aimed to host tourists before the one thousand meters ascend to Cabanaconde, tomorrow.



The third day.

Two energic hours, instead of the three hours announced, has been enough to go up to Cabanaconde.





Confortably installed in the local bus, we left the place with one regret: two weeks wouldn't be enough to visit the whole place...

.