My Bday in the Colca Canyon.....

Trip Start Jan 12, 2006
Trip End Ongoing

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Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Was my bday today and had a great day. Spend the day in a tour heading towards the Colca Canyon. Most of it couped up in a minivan though :(. BUT it did included a Peruvian Folkloric show in the evening in the small town of Chivay. Before i knew it i was being dragged onto centre stage where the band and everyone in the restaurant sang happy bday in Spanish!!! Then one of the girls in the group walks out with a cake and 2 candles!! It was sensational!! I was picked on all night by the band and made to be part of the show where i had to try (try really badly) at doing this traditional dance where i whip a Peruvian girl and then she whips me back till i lie on the floor like i am having an epelectic fit and she perches herself over my head!!! So here i am lying on the floor riggling about underneath the dress of a Peruvian woman!!! Classic. It ends with me lifting her up on my shoulder and dancing around. Was a brilliant night, and topped off by the restaurant giving my group a free jug of Pisco sour!!!

The tour was a little dissapointing though. I think i have been spoilt by travelling the rest of South America and far to used to seeing the beautiful landscape it has to offer. I appreciated the little towns we visited, Yura, Pampa Canahuas, Vizcachani (where we drank a cocoa tea to ease the ascent we were about to make to 400 metres above sea level to Patapampa), yanque, Achoma, Maca, Pinchollo, i especially liked Chivay and the La Calera thermal baths there, but i was a bit over the locals trying to sell you Alpaca clothing!!
The whole point of the tour was to see the Condors flying in the Colca Canyon at Cruz Del Condor, well we did see 2 of them BUT this lasted about 8 minutes and were so far away you could barely make them out! Apparently they are 3 metres wide (inc wingspan) and 1 metre high, but i couldnt confirm this even though i had my binoculars. It was a 2 day tour and for the first time on my trip i felt it was time wasted. Luckily i had some great bday celebrations to compensate!!! oh and the 4160 mtre canyon was pretty cool to see as well.

HOT TIPS for travellers:
(1) Be aware you will need to buy a 35 soles tourist ticket on top of your tour price!
(2) BE sure to go to a brand new restaurant/bar in Chivay called Killari on the Praza: it has rooftop terrace seating overlooking the Praca and GREAT service and brilliant food. They went out of their way with service and the food was modern traditional, they chefs were obvioulsy keeping the tradtional food alive but using modern spices. VERY nice.
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