Condors and cheese ice cream

Trip Start Dec 25, 2012
Trip End Aug 02, 2013

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Flag of Peru  , Arequipa Region,
Sunday, May 26, 2013

We arrive in Arequipa with a list of places to see and things to try from Beth and Emily and by the end of the first day we had accomplished a majority of the tasty samples.. Great carrot cake, cheese ice cream (surprisingly delicious and refreshing), chicharron (deep fried pork and pig fat.. Sounds disgusting but is actually quite tasty), local fig wine, a McFlurry covered with the local delicious chocolate and caramel, all topped off with a beer at a roof top bar with magnificent views over the third largest city in Peru. What a disgustingly tasty and delightful day.

After making ourselves sick with all the food sampling and to add a bit of culture to our stay we went and visited Mummy Juanita, a frozen Inca girl sacrificed over 500 years ago. She was found in 1995 when the neighboring volcano erupted and melted the surrounding ice caps allowing for expeditions to an otherwise untouched area! Her body and belongings she was buried with to take to the next life were extremely well preserved and it was very interesting to see another side of the Inca times!

Whilst in Arequipa we took a trip out to the see the amazing condors and a trek through the Colca Canyons. Standing at the lookout we waited 15 long cold minutes before the first condor came gliding up through the canyon. The condor is the second largest bird in the world, with a 3.5m wing span. Having these ugly (they look like flying turkeys-vultures) but graceful birds glide a near 10m above our heads was an amazing experience.

The Colca Canyon is the second deepest canyon in the world (only 100m off the deepest also in Arequipa) We started off with a nice leisurely trek to the bottom where we stayed the night in the oasis. After a nice relaxing evening with pisco sours and friendly mosquitos we had another early start to trek the 1000m straight up. The fastest gringo time is 1hr 30mins.. We did it in 2hrs.. Not bad!!
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