When writing about travels one tends to write about the famous places, the places that people already know exist somewhere along the tourist trail. I have been equally guilty, although I do try to get off the beaten track and I will try today.

In the south of Peru, usually after a 12 hour overnight bus from Nazca where one usually wakes as the bus leaves the coast and heads inland towards Arequipa. Arequipa is a nice place with the convent, the Ice-Maiden and its famous backdrop volcano, El Misti. But we aren’t stopping there.

Cabanaconde

We are heading for Chivay at the head of the Colca Canyon where most tourist base themselves for the tour of the canyon. But we aren’t, we lunch in Chivay and head away again, traveling the full length of the canyon to Cabanaconde.

Cabanaconde

I was last there in 1997, so some things may have changed. They may have electricity 24 hours a day now, but I suspect it is essentially the same little sleepy hollow as it used to be.

We stay overnight in a simple hostal, have dinner in the one restaurant and return for an early night. There’s simply not much to do there.

Waking early before breakfast a stroll in the fresh mountain air and you get a chance to see the town.

The altitude is 3,600 (11,000ft +/-) metres above sea level, so the air is brisk and you wrap well.

Pretty rudimentary

The neighbours are always curious

Looking back down from the high spot

Just as much home for the cows

The kids are curious too, and hang around to watch the tourists

Yes, the kids watch the watchers. After a simple breakfast, it’s everyone on the bus and we head off back up the canyon to Cruz del Condor, our first stop.

Cruz del Condor is the deepest part of the canyon and will be another Sunday Travel Tale.

NB: These photos are all mine, salvaged and scanned from old abused negatives. I apologise for the quality, but there you have it.

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