This week we take a sojourn from the usual literary-related theme. As I have recently returned from Peru I am dedicating this post to my travels there.
After visiting Lima, Cusco and Machu Picchu I was in dire need of a break from poncho clad tourists, so I headed to the remote Cotahuasi Canyon. The canyon is a 9 hour bus journey from the southern city of Arequipa.
Any fatigue was forgotten on arrival.
Below is a picture of me posing beside a cactus.
Travelling to different parts of the canyon entails traversing its unpaved roads in public buses.
The view from the bus.
The roads are often blocked with debris from avalanches (see below).
Memorials are a regular sight on the canyon’s roads.
Away from the road the canyon is an idyllic place.
Every village in the canyon has a church.
And most have a bullring.
Living conditions in the canyon can be rudimentary.
Donkeys are the only mode of transport in the more remote villages where it appears little has changed for hundreds of years.
That is until I ventured into a house.
Canyon residents gathered outside a dwelling.
And this is a bridge I had to cross. Note the man taking a nap in the middle. Did I mention that I’m scared of heights.
Fortunately the bridge was in fairly good condition.
The same cannot be said of the next bridge.
These are agricultural terraces built by the pre Incan Wari people.
Below is a picture of my guide posing in the Wari Cemetery.
The human bones here date to about 700 A.D.
Is there anything in this world as cathartic as water and a blue sky?
A forest of cactuses.
On my last day in the canyon I ventured too far from the town to get back in time for the once daily bus back to Arequipa. I was fortunate to come across this motorised rickshaw. I made it back just in time.
Bridges not withstanding I thoroughly enjoyed my 3 days trekking in Cotahuasi Canyon.