© 2012 Elys. All rights reserved. Merchant girl

Day 171: Hurry Up! We’re Dreaming

Arequipa – Chivay, Peru

It’s probably a good thing I didn’t choose to do the trekking in Colca Canyon. My head throbbed the whole day after a few hours bus ride to the town Chivay, which is located at 3635m above sea level.

Locals chew Coca leaves that supposedly help with the altitude sickness.

As the weather grew colder and the landscape sparser, we started seeing the animals of this region: llama, alpaca, vicuna and guanaco.
Also, along the route towards Chivay, we made touristy stops at different viewpoints by the cliffs. In each site, we’re always greeted by locals making a living out of tourism. Selling all sorts of stuffs ranging from clay-made ocarinas to alpaca-wool sweaters, these folks were all dressed in their traditional attires. Most of them were also equipped with personal llamas as to grab tourists’ attention and curiosity.

I got myself a small ocarina just so I could take pictures of the little girl selling it and her baby llama. The ocarina hardly cost anything. It was 2 soles, an equivalent of $0.75. And it surprisingly works.

After arriving at Chivay, we had a buffet lunch at a restaurant. I found it a bit out of my budget, but it was worth it. I ate the most I ever had since I left the States. I also got to sample alpaca meat and a local Arequipan dish called “Rocoto Rellela.” It’s basically stuffed pepper, really spicy and really good.

We then had a a couple hours of rest before the guide brought us to the hotsprings nearby. Although I didn’t want to do the hotsprings, I tagged along to go see the scenery. There’s a cliff nearby and I decided to climb it. Fortunately I bumped into Nikolas, a Chilean, who was also on my same tour group midway. We made our way to the top with no problem. But we nearly killed ourselves coming down, for the steep rocky hill was full of cactuses. I got a small piece of it pricking me on the butt. Hehe.

In the evening, I was invited by a Taiwanese lady, Jasmin, to her hotel room to share some good ol’ instant noodle.


  1. Posted 28 Jan at 12:56 am | Permalink

    heyyy!!! I also chew coca leaves, they weren’t so good,but I think that helped!!
    miss you!!!

    • Elys
      Posted 29 Jan at 11:54 pm | Permalink

      I’m not sure if the coca leaves did anything for me. But it’s good as tea :]

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