Colca Canyon

Trip Start Feb 11, 2008
Trip End Mar 22, 2008

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Friday, March 20, 2009

Well I had a long night. I went to bed at 5.30pm Thaaaaats correct 5.30pm cos the altitude was really having an effect. At 6.30 some idiot was banging on my door, when I answered it he garbled something in spanish and when I said yes he left so I closed the door and went back to bed. At 7.00 I woke again with a killer headache from AMS. Same as Darjeeling last year. I took a couple of disprin and went back to sleep. Every 2 hours I woke up so took 2 disprin and felt better in the morning. Add 4 tickets to the trots from the tomato I stupidly ate yesterday and a fun night was had. Luckily I was in a room by myself cos the only other single person on the tour paid extra for a better hotel. The photo down the main street shows Mismi volcano which is said the be the starting point of the Amazon. The water flows 6500km from here to the Atlantic. It was freezing in the morning, about 2 deg, so lucky I bought my beanie and gloves.
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 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.
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chretz on

knocking the head off a few foaming frosties with your new mate way to go,
your trip sounds awesome and the animals are fully sick bring back some frozen llama meat for ash lols,
those clifs looked so steep so i guess you wouldnt have walked them because you cant drive, kates mum looked at the photos and said bless your heart haha with your ugly stick beanie trying to set a new fashion ay?
talk to you later mate.
chris n kate.

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