Arequipa, Colca Canyon and lots of Condors
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Arrive in Arequipa, the second largest city of Peru, surrounded by two volcanoes over 5000 metres high and only 2400 metres above sea level....
This was a really nice city, all the important buildings are made from the ash from the volcanoes, therefore it is mostly referred to as the white city as the buildings are dazzling white.
Main reason we are here is to eat desserts (thanks again Joan... but we did manage to find the best cheesecake ever), check out the canyons and the condors (we hope).
We do a 2 day tour of the region, stopping in places to see the volcanoes, views of the city, llamas, falcons and lots of shopping in the markets....
First evening we stop at a small village called Chivay to rest for the night and to check out the local entertainment, normally we try and avoid tours as they more or less force you to go to a touristy restaurant that normally involves some seriously dodgy music, that was defo the case this time. The music was bearable but then the dancers were hilarious... only problem they of course wanted the audience to participate.
While i am enjoying my dinner, the male dancer tries to force me out of my chair, i just pretend i have just nearly choked on my dinner. Finally the dancer leaves me alone, then i spot my adorable boyfriend and his auntie arising from their seats.... not to dance but to leave me here all alone with these crazy people....yes they go back to the hotel..... scaredy cats.... Joan out of sheer guilt comes back an hour later for the finale.... this was hilarious... the dancers pretend to eat poisoned fruit, then there partner has to whip them back to life.... at times it was more like a porno show....
Then the best part audience participation... poor Belgian girl beside me has to bring the male dancer back to life.... hilarious is not the word.... then back to hostel to laugh most of the night at what we just witnessed..
5am start. Stop of at a village at 6am to witness all the local kids dancing around the main square in the local costumes.. seemingly they do this until 8am and then go to school.... bit different to Irish school...
Another few stops to withness the amazing views of the valley and the Colca canyon. The Colca canyon is twice as deep as the Grand Canyon in the USA and the second largest canyon in South America.
Then the highlight of the morning... we arrive at the Condor pass to witness about 10 Andean condors flying and hanging around the canyon... amazing birds.... their wing span is 15 metres. The next two hours were spent trying to capture a picture... got a few so all was good.
Overall fantastic scenery... enough said.