Colca valley/canyon

Trip Start Oct 20, 2008
Trip End Feb 08, 2009

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Flag of Peru  , Colca Canyon,
Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Early start (8am). The tour opertor came to pick us up at our hotel. Great journey, stopped loads of times on the way to admire Lamas, Apachas (a mixture between lamas and sheep), and just plain extroadinary scenary. 

On the journey to Chivay (the main town in the colca valley) we got to an altitude of 4800metres. A few minutes before reaching this benchmarck I was already feeling what they call 'altitude sickness'; chivers throughout the body, drowsyness closs to faiting. 

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 wasnīt 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 īGrandī 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

Donīt  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 canīt 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
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kathy_m on

Vraiment impressionnant !
Ces canyons et plateaux - Quels beaux paysages! Bravo aux 2 photographes !
Il n'y a pas une petite vidéo avec musique à télécharger? Notamment quand Olive a dansé avec les locaux, par hasard? Histoire de partager un peu plus votre périple ... J'attends déjà avec impatience le prochain épisode! nettement plus intéressant que Coronation Street :) Encore une fois bravo et merci pour ces commentaires si bien illustrés!

lepapa on

Est-ce la fin de l'épisode péruvien ?
Désolé d'avoir raté le dernier appel d'Olivier ! Merci de ces appels. Continue.
Ce journal est extra pour nous et j'aime ces photos avec les locaux et dans cette nature exaltante. Je vois aussi que vos tenues deviennent progressivement plus locales et que le poil pousse (sur le menton d'Olivier en tout cas !). Je suis d'accord avec Cathy : il manque la musique. Ramenez-en. on en écoutera à votre retour.
Abracaoes à vous deux

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