Where condors fly
Trip Start Sep 01, 2005
97Trip End Jul 21, 2006
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After lunch we went for a walk around the nearby village of Coporaque. many terraces were visible around here which were similar to the Inca ones I`d seen, though much older
Later we went to the hot springs at Calera to bathe in the volcanic heated waters. This was great fun, though at 38 degrees Celsius it got too hot after a while and I had to keep sitting out on the side. It got dark while we were in the pool and rather cold so I had to get out and get dressed very quickly. We finished off the day with a meal at a local peņa restaurant. The food was bad but the music and traditional dancing were great.
The next day we were up at 5:30 to visit the canyon. We drove out to the canyon and Liliana took us on a walk by the edge. In this part it was 1200m deep and its gets deeper elsewhere. It is claimed that Colca Canyon is the deepest in the world, deeper even than the Grand Canyon, and looking down to the distant river at the bottom I could easily believe it. After an hour our walk brought us to the Cruz del Condor viewpoint.
Condors are best seen between 7 and 9 when they catch the morning thermals to rise high into the air. There was no guarantee that we would see any but we waited patiently with cameras poised. Then, slowly gliding into view, some of these incredible birds appeared. With their wings barely moving they circled as they rose up higher looking for carrion to feed on. I found it amazing that these huge birds could fly with such little effort but they seemed to do so with only slight tail movements. In total I saw nine condors and one even flew just a few metres above my head. It was easy to see why the Incas regarded these magnificent creatures as sacred.
After watching them for over a couple of hours we boarded the bus for our journey back to Arequipa.