Trip Start Oct 20, 2008
60Trip End Feb 08, 2009
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I went out for some air and the guide gave me some Coca leaves to chew and felt alot better. Looked into the guidebook and they recommend either taking some type of expensive drug or drink coca tea of chew coca leaves (thats natures way). We got to Chivay (3600m high) had lunch (ate some Apacha) then we went to outdoor baths were the water naturally comes out a 60 degrees. Stayed in two hours then the tour operator said time to go but we decided to stay and walk back later.
Half way back the night fell and suddenly we felt that it wasn´t such a good idea (due to the pumas and all). Got back safelly, had diner organised by the tour opertor (folkore dance and everything). I ate the most spicy thng of my life as a starter, which was basically a tomato and pimento salade LOL (speciality of Arequipa region). Then had some Apacha goulash which was very nice.
Next day woke up at 5h, breakfeast a 5h30 (bread, butter, jam and coca infusion) and we were off to the Canyon. Stopped loads of times on the way admiring the small villages and churchs, the local farmers and tradesmen, the terrased moutains (only 30% of the terrases remain from Incan times - the whole moutains were terrased) and finally got to the Condor Canyon.
At this point we were a 4100m with a sharp drop of 1500m and a moutain 500m infront up at 6000m. Where we stood the canyon is twice as high as the Grandcanyon in the US but if your up the highest moutain (just a bit further) you would be 6 times higher than at the Grand Canyon!! (not so ´Grand´ is it really). We stayed there some time trying to observe (as the name suggest) Condors. We waited and waited and it was only just before leaving that 3 Condors came up out of nowhere and flew around in circles for a few minutes until all of sudden one nose dived into the canyon and incredible speed wth the other two closely following (probably saw a rabbit). It was very impressive. Whilst we were waiting we also saw a multitude of different animals including rabbits we a long tail.
Went back to Chivay had Lunch in the market (again for 3 sols, compares to the tour operators 20 sols) and finally went back on our way to Arequipa.
(look closely at the moutain in the background)
We also bought ourselves a pancho hat and scarf in Lama fur
Don´t know eaxctly what we are doing now because the peasants in the Cusco and Puno region are on strike and blocking the roads to protest the rising food prices and as such we can´t get there apart by plane (but the plane companies have drastically risen their prices due to the strike). Cusco or Puno were are next destinations. So we are going to wait here in Arequipa as there is still loads of other things to do (including climbing the sacred volcano, Mist behind the city which stands at 5850 or teh one next to it which is eaier but at 6075m, this we will organise tomorrow.) Tomorrow is organisation and maybe going water rafting. Tune in tomorrow
Where I stayed