Day 7 - The Colca Canyon & Chivay

Trip Start May 22, 2009
Trip End Jun 14, 2009

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Flag of Peru  , Colca Canyon,
Sunday, May 31, 2009

Alan's blog: Up at 5:30 am., a quick breakfast and we're on the road by 6:30, to make the two hour trip along bumpy roads to the Colca Canyon. The Colca Canyon is reputedly the deepest canyon in the world - over 4000 metres at its deepest point. Where we were, at the southern end of the canyon, it's about 3000 metres in depth. And we were there not just for the spectacular views but to see the condors. From the lookout points, there were always 5 or 6 of these magnificent birds in the air soaring on the thermals, sometimes coming within metres. Incredible. With a wingspan of over 10 feet, they are impressive in flight. On the way back, those hardy (or foolish) enough rented mountain bikes for part of the return trip. Thankfully most of time it was down hill, so we only had to control our speed - the roads weren't any less bumpy and really dusty. Where we did have to go uphill, it was hard on the lungs. 18km later we arrived at the return point, and rejoined Ellen, Ron and Leslie on the bus for the rest of the trip back to Chivay and lunch - cerveza time. Most of us spent the rest of the afternoon at the hotel. Allison, Alan D and Matthew took off for a horseback riding tour of parts of the valley. Late afternoon brought us to the hot springs near Chivay. Given that he temperatures in the morning and evenings are very cool -0 to 4 degrees Celsius - yes, there was ice on the ground and in the streams in the morning, the hot springs were mana from heaven, after a busy day. From the hot springs to dinner in Chivay, another good meal of Andean cuisine, with local music and dance performances. After the hot springs, good food and a Pisco sour, it was hard to stay awake. Back to the hotel to crash - I need to make for three nights of sleeping badly.
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