We’ve just spent two days in Peru’s canyon country. Salinas Y Aguada Blanca National Reserve to see the native vicuna, alpaca and llamas, passing through small highland villages, marveling at Neolithic rock art and, the highlight, Cruz del Cóndor, at the start of Colca Canyon, where enormous majestic condors glided right in front of us.
This part of Peru is absolutely beautiful. You can trek this area. Spend days clambering up mountains and wandering throughout the valleys.
I do not trek.
Good grief, no. I like to exercise, and I like the outdoors, but the two should never cross. Quite simply I like my exercise to be over and done with quickly, and I don’t want it to be ruining any time I spend enjoying nature.
But I do get why trekking might appeal to some. Really finding a place by experiencing it up close, and the sense of accomplishment having walked through, up or over it must bring.
What I don’t get is the trekking dress code. Grey, beige, brown, and khaki seem limited options. Perhaps a pale bitumen blue or a faded watermelon for the more adventurous. I assume this is to do with blending in with the surroundings to hide from the fauna, but a fat lot of good khaki is going to do me if I take a wrong turn and have to wait for search and rescue.
On our first day in Valle del Colca I wore my bright yellow pants with tiny coloured flowers, a white shirt and my shiny silver Frankies. Sure, I looked a little different to those in beige with their hiking poles and enormous boots, but I had no intention of trekking anywhere, nor any need for camouflage.
It wasn’t until the end of the day looking back at the photos that I discovered two things:
1. Somehow I’d dressed to disappear completely into the golds and yellows of the landscape; and
2. I was perfectly coordinated with Don, who was, ironically, wearing camouflage pants.