Wednesday 13 December 2023

The valley of the volcanos and swimming with otters

If you are expecting a 'boring' post from me, I am afraid this is not it. Get ready for another exciting post!

After leaving the Colca canyon, we hit a spectacular 65kms crevasse that includes a line of 80 extinct craters and cinder cones. Looming over the scene is the active volcano of Coropuna, the third highest peak in Peru. 

The first evening, as we drove on through the barren mountains of crumbled and unwelcoming lava float and dry magma, I spotted what seemed like water! I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me, it couldn't be, not here in the middle of a volcano valley. But then, we started to descend and the closer we got, the more sure I became. It was a lake! An oasis in the middle of this crazy place with lush, crystal-clear water. 

When we reached the lake, we walked around the river bunk when Dan pointed at the middle of the lake and there, swimming happily, was an otter! It swam on for a while looking at us, then dived in the water and we never saw it again. 

After a whole day in the volcanic mountains, it seemed only right to follow the otter and dip into the cool water ourselves. Dan was of course the first one in! Ioanna and Ismene said it was too cold and didn't even attempt going in. I have to say that I hesitated for a bit because the water was freezing cold and the sun had already set but...I did it! It was only for 30 seconds or so but I swam in the cold water and felt amazing afterwards. I hope auntie Ioni would approve :)

The laguna, as I later learned, is the largest spring-fed lake in the world and is called Laguna Mamacocha (or Mother Water). We camped here for one night and drove on up the valley in the morning. I don't know what more to say apart from that it was all so big and amazing! The tall snowy volcanoes, the short and stubby ones covered in trees, it was all humongous. Valley do los Volcanos was certainly the right name for it...! Driving through the valley made you feel like a little turtle drawing back into its shell. 

Amazing as it was, I do feel that a change of scenery would be a good thing for us...

ps. I hope everyone is enjoying the blog and that I am doing a good job of describing the places we've been. I am going to do a little quiz on the blog soon to mark our four months in South America. And with that, I leave you!


  1. Ooh yes Orestis, I very much approve! What temperature was the water? I swam today in Newhaven and it's about 10 degrees now and very wavy. I can't believe how many amazing adventures you're having, it's hard to keep up. Not sure how I'll do in a quiz... 😳

    1. Hi Ioni, the water was about 17 degrees Celsius and you could always look at the blog while doing the quiz😜