Friday, December 23, 2011

Canyon Country

Hostel with a view of Volcano Misti

From the shores of Lake Titicaca, we headed Southwest. Arriving in Arequipa (Peru's second largest city) we felt right at home, right away.  Settled at the base of three large volcanoes, the city is similarly colonial to others we've visited, but striking because it was built using pearly white volcanic rock.  We got right into the cozy holiday spirit with an outdoor Christmas choir concert, walking the festive streets, and picking up gifts.  This city is incredibly enjoyable.  Did I mention that there are vegetarian restaurants everywhere... thanks Santa!

From here, we journeyed up to Colca Canyon for a few days in the dramatic landscape of the world's deepest canyon. Twice as deep as the Grand Canyon, people. We stayed at an amiable hostel with a wood-fired pizza oven, made some fun new friends and took a hike to the 'Oasis', a little spot at the bottom of the canyon (complete with swimming pool).  

Clouds building over Mt. Ambato

The Oasis

Folks in Cabanaconde

Unfortunately, the woes of of travel caught up with us and we had to cut our canyon trip a bit short. The gastrointestinal monster has reared it's ugly head and we skipped back to Arequipa to recover.  We've been resting and hydrating, catching up with friends online, making Christmas cards and wrapping our little gifts.  It's beginning to look a lot like la Navidad!  

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