Arequipa & the Colca Canyon
After Lima, we flew into Arequipa, another major city in Peru. It was very similar to Lima, but maybe just a little less developed. We got to try some interesting food here too. One Peruvian delicacy is called ‘Cuy’ (Guinea Pig). It tasted very much like KFC, but was mentally challenging because you’re still eating a cute little guinea pig.
Arequipa is over 3 km in altitude, so altitude sickness is a common occurrence in travelers. A temporary remedy for it is chewing on Coca leaves. The natural ingredients in the leaves cause a numbing effect on your tongue and cheeks, and also helps red blood cells to carry oxygen more efficiently through the body. Very helpful in a place where oxygen is lacking. The highest point we reached was 4.9 km in altitude. Air was thin, and Parker and Ryker decided that a foot race was a good idea. Needless to say they were both out of commission for a solid 20 minutes afterwards.
There are llamas and alpacas everywhere in Peru, and yes if you spit at them, they’ll spit back at you. Ryker had a ten minute spit fight with an alpaca, and it was one of the funniest things to see in the world.
We traveled through the Colca canyon, and stopped in at 6 am one morning to see the condors (big vultures) in the area. They only come out once or twice a day and sometimes you don’t really get to see them, so we were lucky. After we left the canyon, we raced tuk-tuks to the hot springs and ended our day looking at a beautifully lit, starry night sky.