|Today, we drove from Arequipa to Chivay, and we are now in the small highland village of Coporaque. The scenery has been amazing as we drove up and up the mountains on winding, mountainside roads. Everything is green this time of year and beautiful. I also could not help but notice the many, many children, and the many dogs in these mountain towns. Any little space off the side of the road that can hold a stand is occupied by ladies and children selling their wares, or posing for photos for the tourists for tips. I took lots of pictures of llamas and alpacas that seem quite happy up here grazing away.
We stopped for lunch in Chivay and took a quick walk through the town market. These children are so beautiful, I could just photograph them all day.
There was also some hardship endured during this day's drive. Most people in our group have been affected by gastrointestinal trouble of some sort and mine hit today before we even left Arequipa. Ironic that the most expensive meal I bought here caused me to get sick. So much for ketchup covered chicken. Thank goodness I took the good advice to bring Immodium on this trip. I have also been pharmacist for those with nausea giving away my gravol.
Now we are at our hotel in Coporaque, a very small village a few minutes drive from Chivay. Our hotel is called Mamma Yacchi. Despite humble furnishings and no real luxuries, the view, the peace, and the silence more than makes up for it. I would definitely come back here again. We are also all getting accustomed to the altitude still.
Upon arrival at Mamma Yacchi, we ventured in our van to the thermal springs in Chivay. Sandra and I first tried out the indoor springs where you could really smell the sulfur content of the water. It was less crowded in this pool until happy hour when it seems all the local fat men dive in. So, we then went to the outside pool to join the other tourists. The water is actually very hot and comes out of the ground that way. It was a great experience to be swimming in this steaming water with the cool mountain air and mountains in the background. It started raining while we were swimming. Neal didn't go in. He sat bundled up in a snowsuit looking ensemble and took a few pictures for us. I think Erika took the one on my camera, but it did not turn out.
That warm soak was so relaxing after a long day of driving. The minerals in the water made my hair so soft I didn't even wash it tonight.