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To the bottom of a deep canyon we go

Written on: Tuesday September 16th, 2008

A journal entry from: Trails in 2008

We lightened our load to a small backpack each and hiked into one of the world´s deepest canyons (3200 metres) for a few days.  Well, that sounds much more exerting than it really was – it was a steep 3 hour walk down to the bottom of the canyon to the "Oasis" - a small lush green area, stayed in a rustic bamboo hut, enjoyed basking in the sun and swimming in the river-fed pool.  The walk back up was difficult though – we started at 5am to avoid the heat of the canyon, which reaches late 30´s by noon.   People were genuinely friendly and happy around here.  There´s lot of tourism in this area because it´s on the "to-do" list for Peru, but despite the initial hassle finding the right buses we enjoyed doing the trip independently and met some really nice people.  Meanwhile Al was desperate to watch the Bledisloe Cup final.  Quite a challenge in the little dusty town we were in, but took our chances and asked at the most expensive hotel, (well, the only expensive hotel) if we could watch it on their tv in reception.  Once we explained the national significance to us of beating Australia, they were happy to oblige.   A room in this hotel cost about $70USD a night (about the equivalent of a months wages for Peruvians), and more than our travellers budget allows.  This is the kind of place where you see tourists with oxygen bottles because they think they´re going to die from altitude sickness, and the token indigenous craftspeople weaving and doing needlework in reception.  A whole new side of the touristy South America we are entering that we haven´t seen so far.  So we left our $8 hotel at 5am and sat in their comfy reception area availing of their free coca tea and English newspapers, and watched NZ beat Australia.  Probably the only free thing we will get in Peru.