Off to see the Condors


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South America » Peru
February 21st 2013
Published: June 21st 2017
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Geo: -15.6452, -71.6055

There were only 2 other couples in the minibus that picked us up at 7.00am for the trip to Colca Canyon.The German, married to a Russian woman were our age and the Canadian from Montreal was with a Peruvian girlfriend from Lima. The guide was fine, but with no personality or particular enthusiasm and the driver drove cautiously over tough terrain. The road to the canyon went over a mountain pass at nearly 5,000 meters. We made a few stops on the way up to take photos of llamas, alpacas and vicunas,, but peter felt a bit shaky at the top and it was cold, bleak and wet, with a recent fall of snow on the ground. Then we wiggled for miles down the zig zag road into the river valley. This was beautifully green, with lots of terraces and farming. Unfortunately as we arrived at Chivay it started to rain and there was nothng to do after lunch except wander around a small market under cover. We were taken late afternoon to the hot springs up the valley, which despite the damp drizzle were really hot and very relaxing to sit and swim in for an hour. For no apparent reason we were booked into a different hotel to the others, down muddy back streets. It was nice enough, but we stayed put for the evening in front of a log fire, watching two local women weave and embroider their handicrafts, which I then had to buy - my contribution to the community!

We were in bed early again in order to be up and ready for a 6.00am start. It was a great sunny morning. The green valley looked fantastic. We bumped down the unsurfaced raod for 3 hours, stopping at viewpoints and taking lots of pictures of local women with their fabulaous embroidered costumes and pet alpacas or llamas. As we progressed with a fleet of mini-buses and coaches the canyon began to cut deeper and deeper into the valley floor. They boast that this is tthe deepest canyon in the world ( twice as deep as the Grand Canyon) at over 1,000 meters from the edg of the Canyon to the river. When we joined other tourists at the mirador ( viewpoint) we were excited to see our first Condor wheeling in circles overhead. In the hour of watching we saw a few more, some a distance away, finishing with a doube act right over head.

It was a long bump and rattle back aong the track to a welcome early lunch at 11.30pm and then after another wander round Chivay we set off for the four hour journey over the pass, overtaking heavy lorries, back to Arequipa.



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It's one way to earn a crustIt's one way to earn a crust
It's one way to earn a crust

Our guide told us not to pay for photos, it encourages them to capture more birds from the wild. So this was a sneaky pic.
VacunasVacunas
Vacunas

Rarest of the South American camelids (llamas, alpaca)


17th March 2013

Looks Fab. We have some pics of our own hot springs on the way.

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