It is either that we have incredibly great luck or that we have built up a bank of great karma, but we couldnt have better timing lately. The past three days we have spend just outside of Arequipa and in the Colca Canyon. This place is beaaauutiful, larger than the grand canon and filled with small villages to visit. Our first day was an 6 hour hike down and across the canon ending in the oasis where we just beat the rain and all of the tourists. Perfect timing.
Our hostel was a small place at a perfect price and couldnt have been more enjoyable. The following day we hiked for another 8 hours to an upper village named Fure. Here we enjoyed a lunch of avacado, cracers and fruit after Simon and I played in the most amazing mountain fed waterfall I have ever seen. We then ventured our way along a mysterious (insanely high and narrow) waterway to a small village overlooking the lower river. We again stayed in a great small hostel(for a few more dollars than the last) with a fantastic meal and great company. After waking up to pancakes and sunrise we headed out again to make our way back out of the canon.
Sunscreen, homemade tshirt-head protection and bandaids on, we were ready to go, or so we thought. After coming to what we thought to be the right bridge and right path we started up the second climb. Through some confusion and my attempts to run uphill at that altitude we were overly unsure of our trail choices, but to our surprise there was a car coming our way. Filled with buisness men, they reasured us that we were on the right track. So, vamos (we thought)! Simply follow this route for another 2 hours, fine.
Another 10-15 minutes further up the mountain we were to meet a friendly, old and fast moving peruvian man headed our way. Now, Miss. Clotilde, with her great language skills and elder person charm, shortly learned that this was infact not the right way at all. “Tis loco,” he proclaimed, as we were headed into not a 2 but 8-9 hour, uphill trek. He knew the better way that only made sence and nothing else to him. Well, who do you believe? The tourist car which came from the town we were headed or the old man who lived these mountains? The old man of course.
So, we followed and he proceeded to show us the quicker and obviously ‘correct’ path. “Follow up there, to there, to there, easy, 2 hours,” he says in spanish. He was right, this would be faster, but the path he was showing was not a walking path at all. It was one for mountain animals and small, nimble children. Imagine tinny; tinny switch backs all the way up 1 or 200 meters, where if you slipped you reeeaaaaly slipped. The crazy part is we said alright, let do it.
While continuing to approach this daunting climb we again ran into the tourist car which had stopped. They were unable to keep going because they may get stuck due to afternoon rain.
After a small chat it was clear that these men were VIP types and offered us a ride. Being unsure and so sweaty from the heat this was a great option. Perfect timing.
Up the mountain we road now very aware of our smell and becoming more aware of the company we shared.
One 70 year old german gentalmen who’s company was looking to engineer a hydro-electric dam, using the river we just played in the day before. Perfect, our friend just finished her engineer undergrad and was in a small debate about her next more. Internship in Peru? Oh ya.
The second two men were very nice engineer investors in the project and from Seoul, korea. You can imagine my excitment. So, I began the conversation. Once hering my plans to teach in korea I was no sooner given a buisness card and told to call him for english lessons. Future teching job and connections pour moi, check.
Following these discussion we were to learn that these men were stopping for lunch and driving to Arequipa, where we were also headed. Our lucky day; it was not just a free ride, but a direct one.
Two hours for lunch while they had a buisness meeting, we were set. You think this story is long and too good to be true, it continues. Our friend had forgotten some very expensive and important glasses in the car on the way to the canon. Well what would you now, but that exact van was sitting right infront of us and about to leave. Finding glasses, check. Again, perfect timing.
We enjoyed the market and made our way back to the car only to find it was gone: Damn, the way too good to be true day had finished. Do not take things like this for granted we thought, bus it is. After realizing this, to our great surprise, the car turned the corner only to pick us up. We learned our lesson.
Having the best conversation and beautiful drive back we couldnt help but proclaim wow; what perfect timing we had and what incredibly lucky and privledged people are!
Next stop, Bolivia.