Trying to outsmart the rain, we left Sudbury, where we’ve had our base for four nights, quite late in the morning. Getting to French River park was an easy one-hour drive South from Sudbury (or 3.5 hrs North from Toronto).
The Visitor centre is near the highway and was closed due to covid situation, but the bridge we’ve seen from Hwy was right there, a two-minute walk, never mind the light drizzle that has just started. The lonely bridge was waiting for us: it is the best outlook point where one can admire the canyon that French river forms here.
As soon as we got on the trail, I knew it. All the street noise has suddenly ceased, the only family we passed by got quiet, the silent forest enveloped us in its magic touch, and then I knew I’m going to love the place. Was it the park itself, or just my desire to get out after so much social distancing, time will say.
After a torrid month we’ve had some rain in the forecast, which made us decide to start with the most difficult day hike of the park: The Crack.
How to Peru in 2 weeks – Day #14, April 2019: Arequipa – Plaza del Armas – Basilica Cathedral – Plaza Yanahuara – Convent of Santa Catalina
I was still day dreaming when we arrived in Arequipa, as a piece of my heart was left behind, floating in the foggy morning along the Colca Canyon.
I suddenly noticed the bustle of a big city; many buses, a tumult of people going everywhere, cars, and adds all over the places. It was the industrial area of Arequipa, and the guide told us that this specific area is used mainly by people coming from the highlands, therefore the similar outfits we’ve seen along our 2-days trip.
The morning fog is deepened hard into the valley, sticking up to the mountains, the river, and the sky. It goes far to the end of the valley, as far as one can see, enveloping the crops, the grass, the rocks. A couple of small clouds are dissipating quietly in distance, while the sun is getting ready for a new day. A sun that is indulging our presence, sending its rays to create mystery and magic. A sun that is teasing my senses, and will haunt my memories forever.
How to Peru in 2 weeks – Day #12: Mirador Lagunillas – Reserva Nacional de Salinas y Aguada Blanca – Chinitos Patahuasi – Tocra swamps – Mirador de los Andes – Chivay – Yanque
Shortly after we exit the busy streets of Juliaca, we see again the landscape we got so accustomed few days before, along the Route of the Sun.
The bushes become dwindling bundles; the grass turns into thistle clusters. Hundreds of shades of brown mixed with shades of grey. When we see a green patch of land, we know a little spring or a pond is trying to give some life to these parched lands at 4,000+ m altitude. Otherwise, most land looks arid, and dreary. The barren land looks dried and frail, sad in its majesty, generous in its magnificence.