Mummys and Condors

Trip Start Feb 21, 2006
Trip End Feb 21, 2007

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Flag of Peru  ,
Wednesday, November 22, 2006

In Arequipa we were camping in a pretty grotty campsite but we didn't spend much time there. We spent the day touring round the city, we went to see Juanita the Ice princess - the most perfectly preserved mummy in the country. She had been sacrificed many years ago at the top of a local volcano where there was snow all year round so all her internal organs and skin were preserved, she was kept at 26 below freezing and the lighting was turned right down, but it was still interesting to see her and the other artefacts. Then we went to see the Santa Catalina convent, which is a convent that takes up a whole block in the city, it was a bit like a maze, very peaceful and beautiful architecture. He rest of the day was spent checking out the shops. That evening we went to see a late showing of Los Infiltrados (the departed) at the cinema because we had to leave arequipa at 2am to get to the Colca canyon for early morning...
The Colca canyon is home to the huge condors and they are most likely to be seen circling in early morning when the sun warms up the rocks. We didn't really appreciate having to leave at 2am to see some birds but hey it was part of the itinerary and it was pretty funny trying to get us all on the truck and comfortable in our sleeping bags, Paul had been the pub and was doing a bit of a strip show on the truck before we set off!!  Once at the Colca canyon we changed our third flat tyre in 3 weeks and waited for the birds, which did show their face eventually. We then took a walk along the canyon with a guide who couldn't tell us the difference between a canyon and a valley. The views were spectacular. After the canyon we drove to a small town called Chivay for the night, here we relaxed in some hot pools and ate great pizza. The following day we set off on the long ride to Cusco....
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