We’re up early again to catch the bus from Arequipa to Chivay. Peruvians drive like maniacs so it’s probably best to not look out on the road and sheer drops if you’re not particularly comfortable with heights. The Reyna bus takes around four hours to get to Chivay and is mostly used by Peruvians.
Chivay is a lot smaller than Arequipa but the setting is, in my humble opinion, even more beautiful. The surrounding mountains are a lot closer and the village is more tranquil and rural. We’re staying at the Kollawas Bed and Breakfast. It’s very basic, no telly or Wifi but it’s clean and the owner is the loveliest person we’ve met so far. She doesn’t speak much English but with the help of hands, feet and lots of maps and drawings we manage to understand her.
In need of some relaxation we spent the afternoon in the La Calera Hot Springs. Entrance fee is 15 soles and includes the use of five different pools, lockers and towels. There are at least three bars serving beers, pisco sours and snacks. We spent just over 2 hours in the baths and could easily stayed longer but didn’t want to hike back into Chivay in the dark. The hike takes around 30 minutes but you can also take a local taxi for around 5 soles.
Dinner at the Innkas Cafe on Plaza de Armas was pretty mediocre. We wanted cheap and cheerful but only got cheap. However, for 15 soles for a starter and main course there is no point complaining (although the service was pretty crap too).
Afterwards we went for a quick drink in the Irish Pub by the square (Pisco Sour for me and a Cusqueña Negro for Brian) and to use their Wifi.
We’re up early tomorrow to catch the 4am Reyna bus to the Cruz del Condor which should be pretty amazing.