sun & water
The hike from Cruz del Condor to Cabanaconde was on a hot dusty road, right in the middle of the day. It seemed bad planning so be ready for some hot dry conditions. You'll need plenty of sunblock and water. It's a shame they don't have a trail that walks along the rim of the canyon as you wouldn't have buses whizzing by you kicking up dust and maybe, just maybe, you'd see some condors flying by too!
knees take a beating...
Make sure you are fit and your knees in good shape before deciding on the descent as it's rough going and steep. We did quite a bit of training before the trip and plenty of hiking before. It was still a humbling experience with our knees sore and legs just exhausted by the end. The cool pool felt so good as a reward. :)
Coca , Chachacoma y Mura
Uno intenta luchar contra el soroche (mal de altura) como puede , aunque no siempre se consigue
En este caso acabamos tomando un mate de Coca , Chacoma y Mura , estas dos últimas son hierbas de la zona , después de haber probado ya el mate de coca , la coca masticada , caramelos de coca , alka seltzer , coramina....
We tried to fight against the soroche( High sickness) as you can , though some you do not get it
On this case we ended sipping a Coca , Chacoma ,and Mura mate (tea) , the last two are local herbs , after we tried the coca tea , chewed coca , coca candies , alka seltzer , coramina...
Because the trip from Arequipo to Chivay consisted of many curves, a terrible stretch of dusty rocky road, and very high altitudes, I got altitude sickness at the very highest point. I had taken numerous cups of coca tea, as well as chewing coca leaves along the way. Fortunately, there was a Red Cross nurse at the top who helped me. I took a Coramina Glusosa pill , but I still suffered dizziness, headache, and stomachache for the next 15 hours. So, I stayed in my hotel, and slept for 13 of those hours. Consequently, I missed going to the baths, the folklore show, and the canyon the next morning. When I got back to Arequipo, I went to Fasa on Mercaderas Street where they took my blood pressure (way over), and gave me some capten pills to take to lower the pressure. My advice is to take a faster mode of transport than a collectivo, and to have some sorochi pills with you just in case. They are supposedt o be easier on the heart than coramina glucosa.