After our group was done seeing the condors at Cruz Del Condor this morning, our bus continued on to the town of Chivay, where we treated ourselves to a divine visit at the hot springs there. Unlike the so-called hot springs at the oasis (in the Cañon del Colca itself), these springs really are hot. Proper thermal temperature of about 40°C. And really nicely done, too, with the water fed into very clean, tiled swimming pools, and with lockers and hot showers as well. Just what we needed, to soothe those aching muscles, after a demanding three-day hike.
This is the third set of hot springs I've visited, in the mountainous area of Peru and Bolivia, within three months. They really do have an awful lot of them here! It's great, because it means that at the end of almost every hike you do around here, you get to have a dip in some boiling hot water, filled with minerals that revitalise your skin and relax your muscles. The ones here at Chivay are the nicest that I've visited so far; but really, they're all good.
We spent about an hour in the hot pool, having a well-deserved and luxurious splash around. A few people also made use of the half-hour massage service, that you could get inside a little hut next to the pool. Unfortunately, when I reached the hot springs I realised that I'd lost both my towel (second one lost within a month) and my boardies; luckily, I was able to rent both of these things at the pool. Would have seriously sucked if I hadn't been able to swim here.
After the hot springs, we went and had a killer buffet lunch, at a nearby restaurant. Great cuy (guinea pig), great alpaca, and beautiful fried banana and yuca. Also excellent cake for dessert, and a free Pisco Sour for everyone! After that, it was time to head back to Arequipa, where we got a lot more than we bargained for, on the adventure-filled bus ride back.