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Published: February 11th 2012
View on the way in
Rushed through breakfast this morning as were unaware that plans for departure time had been amended and were leaving 15 minutes earlier than advised the previous afternoon.
A two hour drive along a winding pass to Colca Canyon in the company of a Guide.
The Guide talked to us about the area and the inhabitants who originally bandaged babies to
either elongate and thin their faces or make them squat and fat depending on the area from which they originated. This mutilation was stoppd by the Conquistadors who enforced Catholism and the Spanish language on pain of death.
The scenery was absolutely stunning. It is the deepest canyon in the world allegedly but not the part we
saw. The deepest part would be a further 6 hrs driving and 9 hrs walking..... We hung around viewing point for condors who use the thermals to rise and glide and supposedly fly within a metre of the viewing platform.... But not today although we did see some 50 metres away... The condor is the largest bird in the world that can fly. The road back was closed due to an aqueduct bursting and causing a road block and landfall so
Return from the Colca Canyon
Placing rocks so Amber won´t get stuck!
we had to take
the long way round, all on untarmacced roads. Ice Road Truckers eat your heart out!! Windy hairpins with steep drops on one side where the road looked as if it could crumble away in a flash. We got stuck at a bridge crossing as the road ahead was churned up with thick mud due to all the traffic that had so far used the pass. We all disembarked from the bus to gather rocks and stones to form some solid surface and used
the metal sand tracks attached to the side of the bus to provide additional traction. Must have taken about three quarters of an hour to sort out. One further bus evacuation was necessary further on but this was straightforward and more for safety than anything else although we did lose reverse gear so the bus needed pushing back for a run up through the mud.
Arrived back at the hotel in Chivay around 3ish and most of us has lunch in a local restaurant. Tried llama skewers which were a little salty and some alpaca stew, fried chicken wings plus various pulses. There was also roasted sweet corn where the kernels are
white and twice three times the size of
the Jolly Green Giant corn back in the UK.
We pottered around the town after Ed realised he had left the hotel key in a coat he had left on the bus. After safe collection, went for some coffee, wandered round the market and tried to find Internet but were advised by other group members that this would be too slow for this blog so decided to wait until Cusco. The rain was just beating down continually with water running in the roads in rivulets and streams so our leaders checked the road conditions to see whether it was safe to continue on the untarmaced roads (the shorter route) or whether it would be necessary to take the long way round on concrete surfaced roads to the next destination.
One of our group (Fiona) had a birthday today so all met up later in town. Went across to the local Irish pub. Weather was apalling - absolutely bucketing down with rain so we were happy to don cagoules, overtrousers and waterproof shoes!! We just had an asparagus soup that arrived with garlic bread as neither of us felt hungry. We left the others partying and opted for an early night as, due to road
conditions, it was decided to take the more major roads which involved a longer
distance and meant retracing part of our trip back over the high pass where so many people were horribly ill previously with an early start leaving at 6am.
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