Colca Canyon and the Irish pub

Trip Start Oct 15, 2013
Trip End Apr 15, 2014

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Flag of Peru  , Cuzco,
Thursday, December 5, 2013

We are now in Colca Valley, which was a quick 4 hour bus ride from Arequipa. We were meant to go on a small trek when we got here, but it was raining so we opted for a tour of the town- which was rubbish. There is next to nothing here, there is a small market which was pretty dirty and full of fly swarmed meat hanging ( and the meat eaters can't think why they keep getting sick) everywhere and Peru tat being sold. That tour was over in about 15 minutes as that's pretty much there is all to see, but we found an Irish pub, so spent the afternoon playing pool and getting staired at by the locals. One of the girls cut here finger on the toilet door lock, it wasn't particularly deep, but it ripped the skin off and she was bleeding everywhere. Our tour guide should be well equipped to deal with this, but as he is a useless &@£* and is only interested in getting himself a beer and doing half a job, I ended up giving her first aid. At this point, I was ready to read him the riot act as I had had my fill of him not pulling his weight, but Nath convinced me to not say anything as we still have a week to go with him- so I caved- but only this once!

The next day was an early start to Colca Canyon to see some Condors, we passed through valleys where there were loads of Inca terraces which make patterns in the landscape and over hills with llamas on them. We stopped at a small market, don't know why, there was nothing there but people selling snacks and fizzy drinks (we see these allll the time) and then we stopped at a small square. The square had a fountain in the middle, where kids in traditional dress were dancing round they were probably about 6-8 years old and the poor little lambs have to dance every morning from 6am to 8am to get money to raise money for the school. The worst thing about it is they dance to the same bloody song, we were there for about 15 minutes and it was annoying me by the end, so they must hear that tune in their sleep! There were also ladies with these massive hawks on their shoulders- the most impressive birds I have seen up close, but they are on ropes and it's cruel, so we were asked by our tour company not to engage with them as they don't condone the capture of the birds- so I took a sneaky shot of them as an 'up yours' to the ladies who keep them captive- I know, I am pretty much Che Gavara and Rolf Harris' love child right? Then we got back on the bus and made our way to Colca Canyon.

As we got near to the view point of the canyon, we stopped at the bottom of a hill. Our local guide had spotted a Condor sitting on a rock at the top. Condors are 120 cm tall and their wing spans are 3 meters, there are a lot of stories of them stealing babies in the olden days, but they are scavengers so I don't think there is a lot of truth in them. We stood at the bottom of the of the hill for about 10 minutes waiting for it to do something, but it didn't, so we went onto the view point. Now this was worth waking up at grump o'clock for! The canyon is 1.4 km deep, so I think that might be about a mile or so for you who have not hit the metric system yet (or the 21st century ;)) It is so deep that there were three layers of clouds down it, and the sun was still pretty low and bright which added to the beauty. We looked at it for about 30 minutes, and then did a small trek to another view point, which was nice but hard was we were over 4000 meters above sea level.

When we got back to the hotel, we opted to go to a natural hot spring, which wasn't that natural as they had made it into swimming pools, but we still enjoyed them. We did a proper natural spring on the Salt Flats which was volcanic I think, it was the first time our group really bonded and it was in the middle of the dessert which made it even more great. These springs were sulpha ones, so it smelt like eggy fart (something I have come accustom too living with farty pants Nath) and we had to pay for them, but it did have a bar, and it was like getting in a hot bath, with a beer, which in am not apposed too. After a soak, a beer and a smelly water fight, we got dressed and bussed it back to Arequipa to get our stuff, have a meal and get a night bus to Naska.
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