Colca Canyon was Fenomenal with a captial F. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it was one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. So I talked with the guy at my hotel and he explains that I don’t need a guide, just choose a route and go for it. I pick ‘Oasis" thinking, oh it shouldn’t be too bad. I ask him if it is steep and he says, “Not a bit”. Settled. I set off in a clean soccer jersey and soccer shoes thinking it’ll be a quaint day on a well paved trail. Nope.
I find myself sliding all over the place in a dirt, shale, and loose-rock mixture at a decline that reminds my calves that I need to start running more with every step. After half an hour, the loose rock has turned to giant rocks embedded in the dirt slope, with which I am now playing “Guess which rock I won’t slide off”. (1st Picture) Mind you, every 10 feet there is a switchback, which made me nauseous when looking down. An hour and a half later I arrive at the Oasis which is located next to the river at the bottom of the canyon. Most people stay the night there but I’m determined to make it back up. I order an orange juice, change my socks, wring out my jersey and start the ascent back to civilization.