Monday, November 17, 2008

..hmm, looks like Poland it is.

..I guess I fully begun acclimatizing back to all the realities, other than simply vacationing, in Poland. Living and working in and around Warsaw brings me a little bit back to the weather, traffic, and attitudes of my old home town in the fall season. But it has changed, the city has evolved, expanded, modernized and seems to be more crowdy than before.

My internship at the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) is slowly coming to an end, but the recent prospect of continuing my trip in the direction of Australia early January is now in question. A looming possibility of work at AmCham seems to be replacing those plans, as I was asked by my boss if I was interested in running the AmCham's secretariat of the Polish Outsourcing Institute. I said I was. The position however, does not exist yet, as it is in the decision/approval making process, which in turn could take an undefined amount of time. So, right now I'm waiting to see what and how quickly it happens, geared nevertheless, for a longer stay in Poland.

As far as my extracurricular activities, I finally, after 11 years, have a bit more time to spend with my 6 cousins, particularly Piotrek, which I grew up with and consider my close family. I have also, along with Kasia, successfully finished the sailing course and passed the exam that culminated it. The exam itself was quite stressful, since it was the last exam of the season, cost additional 40% of the entire course fee, and failing it would mean waiting until spring to re-take it and paying the fee again. And even thought, I started it by getting the boat stuck in shallow water on the beach I passed it!!! :))
Now, the time has come to go skiing. And in fact, I'm going skiing with Kasia and her family to Hintertux in Austria. We're leaving the coming Friday and will enjoy the snow, high speeds, and (as for me at least) extreme slopes of the Alps. I can't wait!!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Return..

..not from the trip yet:)) but to you all, the visitors of my blog, which I sadly ditched for few months. Honestly speaking, I owe everybody who vists and reads my blog an apology for such long period (3+ months) of inactivity, and an update/explanation of what's going on with me right now. That of course, is besides the promise of writing about all my adventures since the last entry Chile I should point out. Quite a few people have been asking me numerous times about the status of my blog, how come there have been no updates, and of course, to write more ..I can only say, I'm sorry I haven't responded to your requests earlier!

Well, many things have happened since my arrival in Europe on the 21st of June, and my plans regarding the trip have chnaged a bit as well. Right now I will not write in detail about everything that I've been doing and that has happened in the past 3 months, but I'll give you a brief prelude of entries to come (to be read below this one, as they will be posted) and explain my current situation.

At the end of June I arrived in Poland to visit my extended family and friends, and to become a godfather of my cousin Maja's second child, Alexander. I satyed in Poland about three weeks and then took of into western Europe to meet up with Malte and others. The destination turned out to be Italy. We've spend a whole week in Rome, site-seeing and partying to the MAX!! And then, split up with Malte to meet up yet again in Vienna. In the mean time, Kasia, Dyane and I went to Palermo to discover the Sicilian charm. After reconnecting with Malte and spending only few hours in Vienna, we set off to Budapest to get to know another famed Europaen city. After 3 days in this Central European jewel it was time to part ways again. I went to Bucharest in Romania to visit one of my best friends (Pawi), Kasia and Dyane went to Poland, whom I joined later, and Malte took off to Germany.

Back in Poland. We've promised Dyane to show her our home country, and we did our best doing it in only a week's time. With Kasia she was able to see Cracow and Aushwitz, and then I joined them in Warsaw. I think she liked it, like the Polish beer ..claiming not to be a beer-drinker before;)) After Dyane left, at the beginning of August, I've managed to spend about 10 days by the Baltic Sea in the Chalupy beach resort, where partying never stops (during summer of course:)) and where I tried wind surfing, another awesome water sport! The rest of August went by in central Poland around Warsaw, my home town.

And now to explain my situation and changes in my travel plans.. I've chosen to stay in Poland until the end of the year and do an intenship to get some kind of professional experience in something related to International Relations or Commerce. How does it affect my world travels? In that, I've decided to abandon exploring Africa, which I'd have to do alone, and then restart my trip at the beginning of January '09 in Australia, and continue with it as planned. There will yet be a time to go to Africa, so I only went to Egypt for an all inclusive 6-day "vacation" with guided tours of Cairo, Giza, Luxor, and The Valley of The Kings, and scuba diving in the crystal clear water near an awesome reef full of colorful fish.

So, as of Monday, September 29 I'm starting an internship in the American Chamber of Commerce in Warsaw..

..that's it for this entry, but as promised, a lot more will come promptly

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Friday, June 27, 2008

To my Most Valued Supporters

I'd like to thank all the contributors for their financial donations towards my trip. The Support Counter has crossed the $1000 mark. Your support is extremely helpful and most welcome, no matter how big or small the amount..

..and, I therefore send all of you million thanks for that, and at the same time express hopes that I'll be able to return the favor in the future:)))


Saturday, June 21, 2008

This time no (CELL PHONE) activation period..:))

I'm now reachable on my Polish cell phone, #: +48 696-205-227 (in the US dial 011 before 48) ..for those who want to reach me faster than email. I'll be in Poland until early July, then I'll be roaming around Europe, where I'll be limiting answering phone calls due to roaming charges, but text messages (SMS) are more than welcome!:))

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Puerto Montt, Chile ..the gateway to Patagonia!

At last, I’ve reached one destination that was at the top of my list of places to visit since I first opened an atlas of the world in 4th grade geography, Patagonia. I’ve arrived in Puerto Montt, which is located at the northern edge of the Chilean side of that vast, rugged and scarcely populated region. It is also considered the gateway to Patagonia since there are ferries that can take you to different parts of the region, such as Northern and Southern Ice Fields, Puerto Natales (Torres del Paine National Park), and Puerto Chacabuco in the northern part of the Chilean fiord-land.

My new and 3rd couch surfing host, Jose met me at the bus station some time after I’ had arrived in P. Montt and was kind enough to take me around the city and surrounding area, then we went to his family’s house for dinner. I also needed to find out what options do I have of continuing south through Patagonia since the Chaiten volcano had erupted and the overland route was out of the question. I could even see the plume of ash over the horizon, even though, the volcano was almost 100 km (60 some miles) away. Without having to back track north and cross into Argentina south of Bariloche, my only other option was to take a ferry. In that case however, I had two options, either pay a significant amount of money and take a 4 day/3 night ferry directly to Puerto Natales, or take much shorter and cheaper ferry, only about 24 hours, to Puerto Chacabuco and continue overland to Chile Chico, where I’d have to cross into Argentina.

The day following my arrival, when I went to find out the exact prices and departure dates and times for the ferries, I was faced with a quick decision as it turned out that one ferry, the shorter and cheaper one was leaving that very day. It seemed be a tough decision, granted how little time I had until its departure. However, after being informed that the other ferry, direct to Puerto Natales, which was going to leave in two days, does not pass nearby the Ice Fields during low season, I’ve made my decision not waste time and get on that boat, after all, the winter was coming quickly and I still wanted to make it to quite a few places in southern Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego (the Land of Fire).

Packing my things went very quickly, I made goodbyes with my Jose and his family, and within 2 hours sailed south into the maze of Chilean fiords.

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Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Valdivia, Chile - The Region of Rivers.

So, as it was recommended to me, I proceeded further south towards the town of Valdivia. As usual, I arrived there in the morning after yet another overnight bus trip. By now, I’ve gotten so used to those overnight buses, and even figured out a way to sleep on them, that it became a normal mode of travel for me. Not to forget, my newly discovered mode of accommodation in various places in form of couch surfing was adding a new sense of adventure.

Couch surfing experience #2, Valdivia. It turned out to be great! While in Santiago, I’ve contacted few people from Valdivia but only one answered, a young college student, Maylis. I ended up staying with her and her family, who went out of their ways to accommodate me and make me feel like at home. It is such a nice feeling to meet people that are so nice and helpful.

Not only they housed and fed me, they let me use one of their kayaks to paddle around a nearby river, took me bare back riding on their horse, and Maylis arranged with her friend to show me around Valdivia and the bay. I was taken to the ruins of old Spanish forts guarding the access to Valdivia. They are strategically located on either side of the strait and directly in front of it on one of the islands inside the bay. Small boats serving as water trams take people back and forth between the towns of Niebla and Corral, occasionally stopping at the island mentioned above. We almost got stuck on it since we didn’t let anybody know to pick us up from there after some time. After all, there is only a very small village and old Spanish ruins. Luckily, there was a guy with a CB radio, who called in for a transport for us and half an hour later a boat showed up and took us back to the mainland.

I have finished my stay in Valdivia with a big barbecue organized by my hosts at their home. Many of their friends were invited and I had another chance to meet more young people from the area. Of course, before I left I had also contacted another couch surfing host in Puerto Montt, which was my next destination and a gateway to Patagonia.

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Saturday, May 3, 2008

Back in Santiago meet Michal and Ewa!

In Santiago, after hearing multiple positive things about it from numerous people, it was time for me to begin my own couch surfing experience. I’ve already had a contact and a place to sleep set up in one of the nicer neighborhoods of Santiago. My host’s name was Felipe Luer, but with the timing of my arrival, I ended up living in a house which he shared with four other friends of his; all my age, all engineers, and all a great deal of fun to hang around with.

When I arrived at their place, I’ve also realized that they as well were at the beginning of a moving-in process. As it turned out it was their second day at the house, which had electricity but no hot water. The room I was given was completely empty, but luckily for me, fully carpeted, so I could lay out my mat and a sleeping bag, and be happy to have a roof over my head and a great companionship in the rest of the house. Very soon, gas line was hooked up, which provided cooking ability to the house along with generally desired hot water. The internet was installed the day after, and I could look up more couch surfing hosts in other parts of Chile.

In their first few days in the house, the new owners organized two parties, one after another, at which I met quite a few very nice people and received advice of where to go next and what’s worth visiting in the southern part of the country. Valdivia was recommended as my next destination, which is located in the beautiful “region of the rivers,” then Puerto Montt in the “region of the lakes,” and then I was to decide how to go about exploring Patagonia and the southernmost parts of Chile.
My return to Santiago mainly coincided with meeting Michal, my good friend from Poznan (a town in Poland), and Ewa, his girlfriend, who were also traveling through South America but in an exactly reverse direction to mine. I was really glad and happy to see them, to exchange our experiences and some photos, and advices for future explorations. Michal told me that when they visited Torres del Paine National Park few weeks earlier, everything was practically closing down and they didn’t think I’ll have much luck with the weather or excursions to the park, but I’ve decided I’ll try my luck and see what I can do when I get there.

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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Valparaiso and Vina del Mar ..or, the beautiful Chilean coast!

The bus ride to Valparaiso was quite short, under 2 hours and I got there early afternoon. After a little bargaining session in the hostel I got a room, left my things and set off on a discovery walk through the town.

Valparaiso turned out to be a very nice and colorful town with a strong bohemian spirit and made a lot better first impression on me than Santiago, which is a fairly modern town but without much of any character or anything too exciting. I was walking around Valparaiso all afternoon long, starting at the old merchant pier, through one of main streets, and ending in the old part of town, full of old mechanical escalators taking you up the hills and higher sections of Valparaiso. I really enjoyed the views of the port and the bay around which the town was built. It serves as the parking lot for the freighters waiting for their turn to be reloaded in this busy Chilean port. The walls of the old town also displayed interesting colors and murals. It was a pure pleasure walking through Valparaiso.

That night in my hostel, being rescued from between the hostel doors, very smartly locked for the night, I’ve met a couple of travelers from Korea/NYC and Switzerland and decided to join them for a tour of Vina del Mar the next day, since it was really close to Valparaiso, only 8 km.

So, the next morning we started looking for a minibus, which wasn’t so easy since there were hundreds of them going the same way and each one had few different numbers on them along with general destinations marked in abbreviations. I promise you, for a tourist it’s all “quite” confusing. Asking the driver turned out to be the only sure way of verifying where we were headed.

The ride to Vina lasted only 10 min, and here we had another beautiful coastal town, not as much bohemian, but very pleasant visually and seemingly nice to live. We walked around for few hours, checked out the famed flower clock, nearby park and the coastal highway. Finally, we met up with one of couch-surfing hosts of Vina del Mar, which we all met through another friend ..what a networkJ.
I left Vina del Mar the same night, came back to my hotel, and the next morning went back to Santiago to start my first couch-surfing experience and meet up with Michal and Ewa.

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Monday, April 28, 2008

Pit-stop in Santiago ..and then what?

In Santiago I arrived still not sure what my plan was going to be, but I’ve had few options.

First, I wanted to check out what the Couch Surfing site was all about, after finding out about it from the polish couple I met in San Pedro. Next, I wanted to post some more pictures online, and find out exactly when Michal and Ewa will arrive in Santiago, so I can make further plans. I was also debating visiting Elise, my French friend in Mendoza, which was just across the mountains and 3-hour bus ride away, or Valparaiso. So, I sent out email and messages.

Michal and Ewa informed me that they should be arriving in Santiago this coming weekend, and Elise sent me a message that she’s taking small vacations in Iguazu Falls. So, since it was Tuesday, I’ve decided to go to Valparaiso for couple of days and then return to Santiago Friday to meet Michal and Ewa.

I also made an account in the Couch Surfing network and contacted few people in Santiago looking for a place to sleep for a few nights and the ability to meet locals, which was a very appealing idea. I received a reply from one of them within 2 hours and was invited to stay with him and his universi on Friday for few nights – how cool was that!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Calama, Chile ..why is this happening to me!!

Unfortunately, I lost all my pictures from Lauca National Park and San Pedro de Atacama when I was trying to download them into my computer. Something happened to the SD card I bought in Radio Shack in Arequipa, and now it’s completely inaccessible (not even formatable).

That’s all I remember about Calama, another city in the Chilean high desert.

Friday, April 25, 2008

San Pedro de Atacama (Chile) ..a short trip to the Moon.

In San Pedro I arrived late morning, after another night on the bus, which was full of control stops and police searches. They probably looking for drugs, but who knows, they were searching through spontaneously selected luggage.

So, why San Pedro de Atacama? Well I was told by quite a few people that it’s a very pretty place located in the Chilean high desert with many things to see and do over there for tourists and an incredible night sky, thanks to the lack of industrial light pollution. And, since it was on the way south, why not!:))

After a short hostel search/tour in the town, I’ve realized that the one I was originally offered and brought to is the cheapest option in already fairly expensive town. On top of that, once I returned to it I met two Polish girls getting ready to go out into town. Shocked and happy as they were to hear me speak the home language they informed me that there is another young polish couple in the same hostel, which they’ve met a few minutes earlier. I have to say, after hardly meeting any polish travelers I was quite excited about this whole encounter. If that wasn’t enough, when we all set off into the town looking for excursions into the “Salar” and the geysers, we’ve run into another small of group of young polish travelers. How cool was that!!

The first little excursion we did was into the Moon Valley. The tour left our hostel at 3:00 in the afternoon and took us to few places in the desert with amazing rock formations and unbelievable sceneries, reaching the Moon Valley right before sunset. You could say that in the light of the setting sun the place looked like the surface of the Red Planet, but when the sun disappeared behind the horizon, all that changed into a lunar desert. What an amazing place; and the views were simply mesmerizing. I could not stop taking pictures.

With the next morning came a very early wake-up, at 4:30, to catch a tour to Tatio Geysers. They always go off in the morning, but the whole point of such an early endeavor was to see the geysers blowing up plumes of steam and water in the rays of the rising sun, which turned out to be another truly incredible sight. Nevertheless, since it was a high altitude desert (4500m again) and on top of that early morning, the temperature was about 15-20 degrees below zero Celsius (-26 to -28 Fahrenheit). I was actually rapidly dipping my hands in the nearly boiling water to warm them up, despite the fact that I had gloves with me. And, to give you all an idea of what kind of place it was, at one point I was standing in the midst of the forest of water vapor plumes, beautifully illuminated by the rays of the rising sun was, yet again, simply amazing!!

Finally, the last excursion we’ve decided to do, the same day as the geysers, was to the “Salar” itself, which constituted a white and flat, endless desert of crystallized salt. The perception of size and scale can easily be lost in such a place, which allows for very cool photographic effects. The two places we’ve paid a visit to on the Salar, were: Ojos de Atacama, nearly perfectly circular pools of water with unknown depth and saline content very similar to that of ocean water; and, small lakes with salinity similar to the Dead Sea, where we floated with our hands and feet above the surface. What a cool feeling it was to just lay in the water without any effort.

That evening I caught a bus to Calama, from where I was headed to Santiago the next morning. It was easier to find connections from there rather than San Pedro, which sometimes was referred to as a tourist trap, due to difficulties with getting out of there. Well, I got out :)).

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Into Northern Chile..

...the time came to continue moving south, closer and closer towards the end of the world.

Long bus rides already became my nightlife, just with the varying degree of comfort but nothing really to complain about, as compared to some Ecuadorian buses:)) More or less midday, we've arrived in Tacna, Peruvian southernmost city, close to the border with Chile. From there it was a "colectivo," a multi-person taxi ride to Arica, the northernmost city in Chile.

While in Arica, I was planning to take a day trip east to see the Lauca National Park. The Lonely Planet guide recommended staying two or three days over there due to a serious altitude change, from sea level in Arica to about 4500m (14,500ft). Not having excessive amounts of time on my hands or serious problems with altitude changes, however, I've decided to do a one-day tour.

The early-morning departure was followed by an approximately 4-hour private bus ride to desolate, hostile, deserted and very beautiful volcanic scenery, with the highest altitude lake on earth, at 4500m above the sea level. We've started through sandy deserts and canyons, climbed up the windy mountain road, passing very few towns (exactly 3) and some lamas and vicunas consuming high altitude, sporadic vegetation. Our tour guide/bus driver had mentioned at some moment that bringing cookies could bring the lamas and vicunas closer for a picture. What I’ve witnessed later however, was an animal attack on a cookie holder before he could even get off the bus; these animals ran towards us simply at the sight of the approaching bus.

The lake was surrounded by more or less active, but at the same time very majestic volcanoes, and one could definitely feel the altitude difference; shortness of breath was what I felt when I run the trail, since we only had half an hour at the lake before going back.

After stopping for some artisanal shopping and tasty lunch at one of the three towns, I got back just in time to Arica to take another night bus to San Pedro de Atacama.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Huaraz, Peru ..and a visit to Chavin Ruins (dated about 1000 B.C.)

.. which is long long before the Inca times.

I was waiting and waiting and waiting.. in front of my hotel; I thought they'd forgotten me on a tour that I really wanted to see. I decided to start walking towards the tourist office that had sold me the excursion to ask what's going on, and then all of the sudden I run into our guide, who apparently was looking for me. She admitted however, she was quite late. Well, at least they haven't left without me :)).

The crossing of the Cordillera Blanca was an incredibly beautiful drive. At the highest point, about 4500m (14,500ft.) above sea level, we have passed through a tunnel and a totally different scenery opened up in front of us, with a snow-white statue of Jesus right in the middle of it. The views were mesmerizing as we continue to follow a windy road, which lowered itself into consecutive valleys opening one after another.

When we've finally reached the city which was built around the ruins it was lunch time, and of course the bus took us to a specific restaurant, which of course was prepared to receive tourists with its translated menus (among other things, they offered Trucha, which translates to Trout, but the menu said "Troll" in the translation ..maybe that's what they actually serve, he he:)).

The Chavin ruins were very impressive, and showed signs of advanced angular calculations, astrology and anti-earthquake construction, but the best part was the fact that we could get inside (everybody is invited to check out the pictures in the 'Photo Albums' section of the blog right) ..I felt like I was in an Indiana Jones movie. And, of course, there was a room with a tall, sacrifice "lancon," completely covered with incredible carvings. Very cool. The tour was finalized with pictures under the last of the remaining Chavin Heads still attached to the temple.

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Friday, April 18, 2008

Huaraz, Peru, a.k.a. "Little Switzerland" can judge for yourself..

The city is indeed beautifully located, and it did remind me a bit of some Swiss or Austrian scenery. Hanging out in the Plaza de Armas with such views (look below:)) in the light of the setting sun is just pure pleasure. Of course there are plenty of things to do there aside from just sitting in the middle of the town and staring at the mountains.

Right from the bus station, as soon as I arrived, I was offered and led to a hostel at the edge of the Plaza, which, after asking, was reduced to $6/night for a private room:)) I cannot say it was a luxury stay, but I also had a private bathroom with hot water, and that's all I really cared about.

In the town itself, there aren't that many things to do if you're by yourself, however, one could easily commit a week of vacation or more in there with all the possibilities of excursions and trekking, which I could only imagine, since I didn't have time to do it, is incredible! (Next time!)

On my second day there I was taken on another tour, to Honcopampa, which wasn't as exciting as I'd expect ..quite boring actually. I was with a group of older people and very young kids, so we could only do an hour and a half of hiking up the valley, which I did by myself of curse. The hike was nice once I left the group, and the views were, again, incredible. After we were taken to thermal baths, so I sat in a bathtub full of naturally hot mineral-rich water for almost an hour. Bored of my mind however, since I was by myself.

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Thursday, April 17, 2008

Huaraz, Peru - a tour of Llanganuco Valley, or what can an angry mountain do to a town!

Of course, even before I even had a chance to step down from the bus, I was "attacked" by hostel/tourist office workers, offering places to stay and excursions. And, the thought came right away, 'it won't be hard to bargain again':)) So, I got a private room for only 15 soles, as well as three consecutive days of excursions reduced to 90 soles, from 120.

A tour of Llanganuco Valley was programmed into the first day. We were picked up in the morning and taken through the towns along the valley between the two mountain ranges. The towns were small and seemed quite nice and friendly, but there wasn't anything special about them except for the fact that they are surrounded by beautiful mountains, on the east by massive and majestic "nevados" (snowy peaks) of Cordillera Blanca, and on the west by rugged crest of silent and dark Cordillera Negra.

Our tour bus stopped in few of those towns, encouraging us (tourists) to add to the commercial come rotary, but for me it was all about the sights and pictures:)) One of the towns, Yungay, was particularly interesting due to the tragedy it encountered at the beginning of the '70s. Practically half of the town, right through the middle of it, was destroyed by an avalanche that came down from a giant right behind it, Huascaran (6700m-tall mountain). This monstrous "bulldozer" of rocks and snow was caused by an earthquake and split the city in two, taking the lives of thousands of people. You can still find the remains of Plaza de Armas, the Cathedral, and a bus fused with a truck in a weird and twisted way (you can see pictures in the 'Photo Albums" section of my blog - top right-hand side).

A visit to Huascaran National Park was also included in the tour, and our bus took us to a lagoon situated nearly at 4000m above the sea level (more than 13000ft.). The surrounding mountains however, were not as visible as I'd hoped for due to cloud coverage, but I still had a nice 40-minute walk through a bushy trail:)) It was very windy, and therefore quite cold, but trail running is a perfect solution for that:))

We've finished our day with palm trees, an incredible view of a burning sky, and a ceramics-making presentation, again, encouraging us to make more purchases.

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Monday, April 14, 2008

Canyon de Colca - second deepest cayon in the world, and a home to the majestic condor, Grand Cayon is not the deepest, it's another cayon quite close to Colca, which itself has an impressive depth of over 3000m.

It was another 2-day tour that I did, but this time out of Arequipa, to which I came back specifically to see this canyon. The price of the tour was of course bargained again, and I managed to get it for 55 soles. It included a guided tour of the canyon and local sites, a night at a simple hotel (single room with hot water is all I cared about) with breatkfast, and all the transportation.

So the tour took off in the morning, 9:30 that is, but the goal of the first day was getting to the town of Chivay, which barely even begins the canyon itself. On the way however, we have stopped in few places. The first was the Needle Forest, a place with many sharp conical rocks populating the hill sides of desert cliffs. It was quite an interesting place I have to say, but it also included an artesanal market, which completely consumed the attention of some people. Secondly, we stopped at what's called Aquas Verdes, which consisted of scattered pools of water on high altitutde, green meadows with animals like Llamas, Alpacas, and Vicunas grazing here and there. After that we've stopped at one of the highest road passes in the world, at 4900m above the sea level. To give some of you an idea of how high it is, it's about a half a kilometer/a thrid of a mile higher than the highest peak in Alps and more than 1000 feet higher than the top of Mount Whitey ..and a road passes through there, how cool is that:)) Anyway, just like some of you might be throwing coins into the fountains to come back to the place or for good luck, in Peru they build small pyramides of stones, and that place had thousands of these. The views of the mountains were no less impressive than the place itself.

After reaching the town of Chivay, we were taken for some lunch, buffet for 18 soles, placed in our hotels, and then taken (who ever wanted) to the thermal baths, which were quite enjoyable in contrast to the not so high open air temperature. And, since at almost every thermal bath in Peru alcohol is served to the edge of the pool, a group of people I've met earlier this day and I had couple of beers ..surprisingly from glass bottles.

Quite early in the morning, 6:00 am, we begun continue our trip to the actual Canyon de Colca. The canyon kept opening up and getting deeper and deeper, or so it seemed, as we continued to drive further and further into it, and the view kept getting more and more amazing along with it. At about 9:00 in the morning we had reached a place called Cruz del Condor, and then, those majestic, but at the same time so graceful, birds showed up, gliding literally only few meters over our heads was incredible!! I simply couldn't stop taking pictures.

After a short walk along the edge of the canyon, we were taken back to Chivay for some lunch, and then directly to Arequipa. But what a marvelous place it was, and discovered by a Polish expedition.

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