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Trip Start Jan 19, 2006
Trip End Jan 19, 2007

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Flag of Peru  ,
Sunday, September 24, 2006

Up at 4am in the pitch black but with beautiful stars and no moon. I am very nervous about the trek up as was so out of breath yesterday and am worried. We start our climb with torches up the rocky path and occasional steps. It starts to gradually get light and we are passed by men with their mules offering them for us to use. I am tempted at some points. It is pretty hard going but we stop every 20 mins or so for a rest and then keep going. Is def a lot easier without the sun.

We keep going up and up and watch as the valley gets brighter and more different with the light. We can start to see the trees at the top (canyon is 1km high) and I am starting to feel like it will all be ok. As we near the top I even overtake another girl who left 30 mins before us! I am so chuffed. We reach the summit after 2 hours 50 mins. Apparently 90 percent of people take 3 hours. Therefore I am obviously one of the fittest people in the world!! Am esp happy to hear story of 2 californians who took 10 hours to get up and cried all the way. Guide also tells me I would have no prob doing Inca trail pass which is easier and had been my main regret in not doing the inca trail to see if I could do it.

We then walk further into Cabanaconde town to find our breakfast and I am very grateful to have a banana sandwich for the first time in donkeys years. Carbs were needed!

We then get the 8am public bus to Cruz del Condor again which is good as we get a second shot at seeing the condors which we wouldnt have done if we left at 2.30am (as all the other groups had!). We arrive and wait and see about 6 condors cruising around and one perch on a rock not too far from us. Was even better than yesterday.

Then get the local bus at 10am without a hitch, although it was v full esp with local women selling their wares at the cruz del condor. They are all dressed in bright elaborately embroidered clothing with birds and flowers in white and yellow and red is really lovely but not very Newcastle I think. Local buses stop everywhere which can be interesting but not when you are tired and want to get back we also take the same route home which is scenic but not phenomenal. Stop for an hour at Chivay for food and see a cafe imaginatively name itself McDonalds. We buy a fresh round of cheese and bread which is nice albeit it destroys all our hard work this morning!

We arrive back in Arequipa at about 4pm and get a shower at our hostel and use the internet and dinner before getting a taxi to the bus station. Are sad to say goodbye to Miguel and hostel as they were great.

Get Flores bus which is nice although the music is a bit loud on the video but at least its not cold like most other buses!
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