Trip Start Jul 31, 2006
Trip End Aug 24, 2006

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Flag of Peru  ,
Tuesday, August 8, 2006

Sadly we had to move to a new hotel today. I could easily stay at the one we were at for a good week. In comparison, our new hotel... now in the provincial capital of Chivay... is the worst of the worst. But the hot water bottles they give you before you go to bed were a bit of a novelty.

The big item on todayīs itinerary was to check out the massive Andean condors at a place called Cruz del Condor. Itīs here where they fly right over top your head and perch just below you on the cliff face. Apparently there are about 70 condors in the area... Iīm not sure if that means just at this particular location or throughout the entire Colca Canyon.

We made a few pit stops along the way to take some photos of the canyon and to walk a little bit along the edge of it. During our walk, you could see the location of Cruz del Condor in the distance... thanks to the throngs of people lining the cliff.

We then hopped back in our mini-bus and booted our way to "Condor Land". While we were driving, we noticed that below the crowd, you could see a large dark object perched on the rocks. So, as soon as we got off the bus, I pushed my way through the people, got down some stairs and found the best place where I could watch the perched condor. She was huge. Not the most attractive bird, but huge. Apparently their wing spans can range from 3 to 3.5 metres.

Another she-bird arrived soon after and plopped herself down beside the sitting bird. There they sat and there I sat (about 10 metres away) just watching each other. Meanwhile, several condors darted about overhead.

We spent about 45 minutes there and I think on average I took a picture every minute. Needless to say, in interest of saving room on my digital camera, I deleted many of these pictures after I left.

That afternoon we headed to the hot springs near our hotel. It was very much like the hot springs back in Radium. When we arrived the sun was beating down on us. I subsequently abided my time in an indoor hot pool. I later joined the rest of the group in the outdoor pool, when I knew for sure there would be some shade to hide in. I didnīt want to be burnt two different ways at once.

That evening we ate at a restaurant that had traditional Peruvian music and dancing. I was coerced out of my chair a couple of times to join in on the frivolity by the locals. I didnīt really understand it but while I was up there, I was instructed to bite into an orange, fall to the ground, was lashed by a scarf, and then danced over. I sure wish I knew what was going on.

We headed back to the hotel afterwards, sat around the television, got shushed by a hotel guest, and then called it a night.
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