Trip Start Feb 11, 2008
57Trip End Mar 22, 2008
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Where I stayed
We set off early, wake up was 5am, for the 2-3hr trip through Yanque,Achoma, Maca, and Pinchollo to Cruz del Condor. All the little towns had something going on to try to get us to stop cos all the tourist busses go through in a couple of hours. Yanque had women dancing in the street and old women with their lama,s and birds of prey for photo ops. They were all pretty much the same so we only stopped at two. The trip from Chivay follows up through the canyon on a dirt road.
When we got there I went to the highest viewing platform. All the good spots were taken but I stayed there and we only had to wait for a few minutes and then the condors arrived. The spot I had wasn´t the greatest but I still got a pretty good view as they went along the cliff face. Five condors flew along and about a mile up the canyon they started circling to gain altitude and then flew another pass behind us. I changed to a lower view point and the condors started circling the high point. Wouldn´t you know it. I would have had a better view overall if I had stayed at the high point but I still had a great view and the birds were huge. They are amazing the way they glide.. glud everywhere without flapping their wings. Like hang gliding. I had trouble getting photos cos the sun was so bright I couldn´t see a lot on the screen of the camera.
After they left we did a short trek along a ridge of the canyon and saw some more wildlife, chinchilla and lizards and learnt about the local plants.
The lunch stop today was even more expensive than yesterday, cos lunch was not included in the price. I decided I wasn´t going to be ripped off so I went for a walk up the road to look for some fruit. I came across a shop with fruit but I wouldn´t eat it so I had a couple of chicha´s with my new mate Sanchez. Chicha is a local beer made out of corn, I wont go into it anymore you might be eating. Anyway Sanchez gets out a jug and goes out the back and take a big scoop from the barrel. He then put a heap of sugar in it and stired it up. The glass was clean...once..it came out of a tub of dirty water under the table. The chicha looked like the dirtiest washing up water you have ever seen and tasted like a cross between flat ginger beer and lemon squash. mmmmmmm As long as I was paying, about 25c a pint, Sanchez was drinking. We had a couple and a bit of a chin wag, he dont speak english and I dont speak spanish so the only thing we learnt about eachother was I am happily single, he is unhappily married and he has 6 kids.
Im back in Arequipa for a couple of days, going to Puno day after tomorrow..whatever day that is.