Lemon Water

Arequipa, The Colca Canyon and Cruz del Condor

I just got back from an overall awesome road trip with teh family. See, the mother and father forced us (the sister and the brother) off our backs to go to the trip. Despite a long time stuck in the cars, I managed to enjoy myself. Despite a stomach infection, I managed to pull out.

Lets summarize it, shan’t we?

We started off by leaving pretty late in the day, and driving a very long time off to Nazca, some five hours on the highway. Unfortunately, I was in the middle of severe stomach trouble, so that day was pretty much overall sucky. I felt better later, only to feel extreme nausea after eating dinner. I also apparently left my watch there because I was so absent minded due to being sick. I’m not getting a new one.

Meanwhile, my brother continued being an ass, having stuck on calling me “vaca” (cow) and “morsa” (walrus) for the whole trip as a substitute to calling me fat. He should be pleased I actually lost weight because all I could eat were water crackers. I am surprised that my brother actually called me these names in front of our parents- he’s getting bold. What surprised me more is that my parents didn’t react much better then I did, and spent a lot of time getting frustrated because he wouldn’t stop when they told him to. Guess I’m the only one he’s publicly mean to then. I feel sorry for his future girlfriends. And envy them. It’s much easier to drop an abusive boyfriend than an abusive brother.

Anyways, the next night we kept on driving, all the way to Arequipa, and arrived late at night. I spent the car drive reading “Catching the Wave”, which is one of the feminism books my dad bought me. I loved that book. I love it. It’s making me think. And giving me hope. At the same time as it makes me question myself more. Gah, this will take time. I also found pretty good facts for my Extended Essay. W00t.

Next day, blah blah go to doctor blah blah I have stomach infection blah blah keep taking antibiotics, stay hydrated, and here is some more medicine. After that, we were free to walk around the city! It’s pretty. Well, the center. My foot started hurting horribly though, I think my old glass wound is acting up on me. And because my dad has a broken toe, we ended up taking those bus city tours. Word to the wise- do not take it. Arequipa is a city for walking. My whole family ended up containing sniggers over the horrible translations and accents, (The lady pronounced “bus tours” as “bastards”, come on!) and the superfluous sites. Just stick to the city center- its beautiful, the sillar stone the buildings are made of makes the Plaza de Armas look spectacular. Also- the Monasterio de Santa Catalina (Actually a convent, but… that is its the name…) is crazy. I have visited quite a few monasteries and convents before, and this one is a skewed up version. I mean… what the hell? Convents are meant to be places to trap women so they could dedicate their lives to God. They are supposed to be humble places, so you concentrate on the spiritual, not on the material.

This place was insane.

When I read the line “like a city within a city”, I thought the guide was exaggerating. Well, it isn’t. This place housed the rich second daughters of Spanish nobility, and their servants, and slaves, in what is a self contained city. They had freaking streets inside the convent. Beautiful streets, and the walls were painted nicely and with very bright colours. But the rooms… oh sweet sanity, the rooms! The typical “cells” that nuns live in, well, they were like apartments. Each one had a kitchen, and dwellings for the three or four servants the nun brought with her. They were well furnished, large. OMFG. That place is like… wow.

It was worth going there, even if my foot was killing me.

Hmm, end of day, we travel to the Colca canyon next. Beautiful plac,e the altiplano, the highlands… The Andes. I felt at home. It looks so much like La Paz… ah… We stopped by some beautiful frozen water, and took photos. We also saw lots of tourists, which surprised me. I didn’t expect that many.

We arrived to our lodge, which is beautiful. The Colca Lodge has all my recommendations. It was in the middle of constructing a spa, and I guess when it is finished it will up its rates, but it will still be good if you can afford it. The sad thing about going to live on my own later is that I won’t be able to afford things like these. *sigh* We spent the time getting used to the rooms, and then, going to the hot springs. Beautiful! Lazying away and feeling my pressure drop in the sweltering water was nice. I unfortunately discovered that I really don’t have a very high heat resistance, and had to move to the cooler areas more than most people.

Next day, was a no driving day. My brother and I went horseback riding for the first time in two years, for two hours. My butt hurt. But it was worth it. The foal of my mare followed us too! It was so adorable. even if infuriating. He kept getting in the way, butting between the horses and slowing us down. Still, beautiful views, and I enjoyed it. My brother felt more sore. Being a male, some of his apparatus is more… exposed to damage on the jostling seat. XD Then, we got back, ate lunch, relaxed, I read a book, and proceeded to go to the hot springs for two hours. We met a really nice Hindu family that is living in the USA, and I’m going to add the girl, who is only one year younger than me, to Facebook. I wish we could have had more time to talk, but I am glad we at least met.

After that, dinner, I was eating better, omigash you just have to TRY the Andean Gnochi. We exchanged full names and emails with the family, and went back to our room. Where my family palyed a game, where w had to think up as many wrods that begin with a particular set ofl etters. Like, “pr” and think up “pristino, practico, preferido” etc etc. Wow, what a nerdy family.

The next day, we went off driving! Again. This time, however, we went deeper into the Colca Valley, with my dad happily driving around the place! He loves that type of roads. He grew up with them. After about an hour and a half, we arrived at the Cruz del Condor (The Cross of the Condor).

Wow. Driving in, we saw about six condors flying around the point. SIX. At once. Amazing. The max I saw at once was around 10. There must have been a total of 15 at some point. Oh man. That was amazing. And they were flying around and around and above us. Wow. Wow. It was amazing.

I spent so long staring and taking photos. Well, we all did. I think we were one of the last groups to leave the viewpoint, though it was so full. There must have been around 300 people at the max point. If you go there, go in the dry season, and try to get in the morning. Best time. They tend to calm down approaching midday.


Uh, after that, we drove on until we reached the town of Cabanaconde, where we stumbled on their festival! It was for the Virgen del Carmen, and there was this wonderful procession, the ladies in traditional feast clothing dancing ahead, (I only got one good photo though), and the band playing enthusiastically with the trumpets and other big brass wind instruments… Wow. Completely typical Bolivian festival. My parents were really happy. I loved it. My brother was still grumpy, but better than before.

Near Cabaconde there was a mirador, and we climbed up to it. It was worth it. The view… it was spectacular. Beautiful. Until then we didn’t really see the canyon. That, however, was beautiful. Unfortunately, we’d used up our memory taking photos of the condors.

We drove back more slowly, and stopped at the new five star hotel called “Casitas del Colca”, which I must say, was amazing. We had a very late lunch there to soak up the atmosphere, after a tour, and while I am afraid I will never be able to stay there, at least I was able to eat and get the atmosphere of the place. My parents plan to include some of the architecture stuff they saw there in the house they will build in Bolivia.

My quinua salad was excellent by the way. Delicious. Hooh.

We went back to the hotel, more hot springs, dinner, sleep. You know, relaxing. The next day, we packed up, and drove away, past Arequipa, all the way to Nazca, where we stayed overnight. This morning, we drove all the way to Lima, and here I am. We stopped by a friend’s house before getting home, as they will move soon, and they invited us to lunch as soon as we got back. I met a little girl that just moved her, and her name is also Camila! She will also be going to the same school, only primary, which is nice. I hope I can help her.

Then, we arrived home, to receive an ecstatic Pistacho who jumped and wagged his tail and was overall incredibly joyful. Unfortunately, my dad went to the doctor for his broken toe and he now has to use crutches. Oh dear. That reminds me also that I need to see a doctor for my foot. The place where I cut myself has been hurting so bad I walk a bit weirdly- I lean on the outside of the foot, not on my sole, because it hurts too much. My dad thinks that I might still have some glass and that it moved from a scar inside. Guh. What does that mean? What will have to happen to me? I keep thinking foot surgery. More pressing right now though, is how my dad is going to travel. He has to go to Boston tomorrow for his job. Guh. In crutches.

I’m quite tired now, so I’ll sign off now.

It’s been an overall busy but nice week. Too bad it resembles normal life so much in the mix of high and lows.

I’ll have to concentrate on the highs then.


Behold, the archives of the terrible Glass Shard Incident!

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7


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  1. * StephHo says:

    heey welcome back!
    i officially have 9 days left. boo.
    so here’s the deal: you have to see The Dark Knight.
    i’ve seen in twice already but if you need someone to go with you..
    *raises hand*
    but we should go on tuesdays really since we’re on vacation – it’s half price lol.
    call me!

    | Reply Posted 9 years, 8 months ago
  2. * StephHo says:

    ohhh and your brother…ouch.

    | Reply Posted 9 years, 8 months ago
  3. * raire says:

    Yeah, nine days to finish writing the Keats and Dickinson analisis/commentaries! gah! At least I did some stuff in the car. But I have come to the conclusion that I dislike Keats. Also, that he was sexist. But hey, it was the… whatever time he was in. I did like Dickinson.

    I have to see The Dark Knight. YES! I want to! Okies, I’ll call you later today, as right now I’m about to enter full on work mode. I want to see that movie badly… Soooo badly. Plus, you’ll probably get to analyze it or something- what with IB, our minds are eternally on.

    My bro… It’s only one more year till I don’t live with him. Meh. I hope I survive.

    Hmm… today is Sunday… I’ll ask my mom in lunch about Tuesday.

    | Reply Posted 9 years, 8 months ago
  4. * StephHo says:

    greeeeat! 😀

    | Reply Posted 9 years, 8 months ago

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