Colca Canyon and the condors

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June 3rd 2016
Published: January 10th 2017
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Breakfast 630 depart 7. Basic breakfast bread butter a bit of ham and some plastic cheese.

We drove a little over an hour to get to the condor viewing spot. On the way we drove through a village which and a few lookouts but were told we would stop on the way back.

Before arriving at the view point we stopped on side of road for some pictures as a condor was eating a cow. Condors live off dead animals - they don't attack like eagles. The condors work with the foxes. Condors signal where the food is by flying in circles and the foxes come in to kill. The fox eats first and the condor scavenges off the left overs. However livestock in the area also fall over the edge of the mountains sometimes and die like this cow and then the condors feed on the deceased livestock.

We had an hour free time at the condors and were told to keep an eye out on all areas as may fly from the canyon or come over from the mountain behind. The canyon was really beautiful. We were told to be
patient as they only take flight when the weather is warm. However in 5 or so minutes we had our first condor. Saw several but they were quick and in often deep in canyon so it was hard to get a close shot. Some did fly really close to people though and you could only then realise how big they actually are.

We went back to the bus and some people dropped off jackets and things they didnt want to carry however I kept mine in my pack to help train myself for carrying my own pack on the Inca trail. We did another training hike for about 40 minutes stopping at various lookouts along the way. We saw more condors come in really close. I didn't seem to be as out of breath as yesterday's hike however the route was relativity flat and had no stairs to climb. We got a few group shots at one of the lookouts.

We stopped at the little town we drove through on the way back and had 15 minutes to look around. We were told have a look in the church and some shops if we
wanted to. Some locals has an eagle on a chain which you could get photos with. Obviously we were told don't do this as then you give them a demand for the wild animals and they will keep going out and catching them. Llama and Alpaca pictures with the locals are ok though as the animals are already domesticated.

Lunch was another buffet in Chivay however at a different place. I think yesterdays was nicer in the desert department, everything else was fairly similar.

When we got back had some free time before the afternoon excursion. I used googled translate to ask for cold and flu tablets and went to the drug store. Googled what he gave me when back and it does look like I got pseudoephedrine in it so happy he gave me the good stuff and ill be able to dry up my sinus.

This afternoon we went to a hot spring which was $15 sole. The bus drove us most of the way then we had a 5 minute walk. Had to cross river on wooden planks some which were quite wobbly so an experience in itself.
There were about 5 pools of various temperatures. We first went in one about 38-40, degrees and then into a cooler one for a bit finishing off again at the one in which we started. The first one was so hot you got in slowly the way you do in a really hot bath or really cold pool but once we were in it was nice. We met some travellers who had come from Cusco and they said these pools were a lot warmer and better then the ones they went to over there. Andreas told to stay 35 minutes only as otherwise muscles relax too much and end up dead the rest of the day.

We met at 650 to talk about tomorrow's plans. Apparently at the initial meeting Andreas warned the group a lot about Puno being very poor – the poorest place we will see. He said that he will try to help with any hotel issues as much as possible such as water, electricity and heating problems but the hotel can only do so much. Andreas also informed that many houses in Puno are not finished as they do not have to pay
land tax until the house is complete so most of Puno housing has metal openings etc and rooms unfinished on purpose so it's quite ugly to look at. I think his talk got us all a little nervous about what we will encounter tomorrow.

For dinner we went to a place which provided dinner and a show. We were able to order off the menu or a set menu for $25 which had an entree and main choice with a free desert thrown in. I got a chicken soup and alpaca main and the desert was pancake with chocolate sauce. The alpaca I thought was a steak but it was chopped up with onions peppers like what we ate at both lunch buffets the last few days.

There was a live band with dancers coming out every few songs to perform. The first one I recognised from the description of the statues we saw the other day. With the boy in a dress disguised as a girl so he could dance with the girl without their parents knowing. The second was weird weird weird. He was in a creepy mask and he was dancing
and then ended up on ground and she dancing over his crotch then hitting him with a rope. Andreas said he was drunk and she was punishing him. They tried to pull Catrin then me up to dance I was like no way we are not dancing this dance. Susan got up and took it for the team. The final dance was the lady with a condor and them she stole Catrin and a guy from other tour and dressed them up to join in the dance. Then most of the other tour group ended up dancing for a finale. I believe they were a yolo group so a into the drinking a bit more and dancing a bit more than most of us. The dinner/show was interesting to say the least and well worth 25 soles.

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