Colca Canyon - Day 1

Trip Start May 12, 2013
Trip End Jul 30, 2013

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Flag of Peru  , Colca Canyon,
Sunday, June 23, 2013

Got up real early for our pickup at 3am. The minivan picked up several more passengers along the way before heading to Chivay, around 3 hours away.

We had breakfast at Chivay, the capital of the province. It was real cold, and it was around 3500 meters above sea level. There were several people on the same bus, but most were doing the 2 day trek.

After breakfast, we headed for the Cruz del Condor, a viewpoint to watch the majestic Condors fly up with thermal currents. There were lots of tourists at the viewpoint. We waited for an hour, but only saw one or two condors at the bottom of the valley. It was unusually cloudy, and probably explains why the condors weren't out at their usual 8am timing. Since we were on a tour, and only had an hour here, we had to leave before witnessing the condors' ascend. A pity indeed, I was really hyped up for that.

The minivan dropped us off at the start point of the hike. The 3 hour hike took us along the sides of the canyon, with steep ascends and descends along the way. The roads were really sandy as well. There were good views of the canyon along the way. On the opposite shore of the canyon were several villages of the local people, and many agricultural terraces could be seen from afar. Descending the valley acutely in a zigzag fashion also took a toll on the knees.

Nevertheless, we made it to our lunch and resting stop for the day. It was in a small village in the canyon. Lodging was basic - a bed and a roof above us. There was no hot shower, and the house was not completely sealed as the roof was made of bamboo like material.

Lunch was good - had stir fried Alpaca (similar to llama) meat with rice. There wasn't much to do at this place. There were guinea pigs being reared, pigs and chickens as well. A few dogs and cats running around.

Took a long afternoon nap to make up for the lost sleep.

Had dinner - fried cheese and potatoes in batter. And was served an interesting local tea with sleep inducing properties. Hope it does work!

San Juan, Colca Canyon, Peru
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