To Chivay

Trip Start Oct 13, 2007
Trip End Feb 15, 2008

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Flag of Peru  ,
Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Up 350 for a 430 leaving for the Canon (Canyon) Del Colca so we would be in time (930) to see the condors catching thew morning thermals and so they would be close as they did.  On the way stopped at the highest point on the trip (4930m) for some beautiful views and I admired all the little piles of prayer stones there (youīre closer to the gods at the heights or something).  We had a local guide (Wilson) talking to us up to and at the canyon.  It is the 2nd deepest in the world at 3191m (not that we were at that part) but because it was deep because of the mountains syurrounding it I found the grand canyon more impressive at 1600m deep as it is like a crack in the earth.  The condors sweeping overhead were magnificent, they just drifted with the thermals and with a 3m wingspan they werre large birds!!  We were at the watch area a half hour and then did a 40 min walk along the canyon which didnīt really show us anything new but did give us some high altitude practice fotr the Inca trail.
We had already passed this little dusty town (Chivay) on the way to the canyon and had to return to there for the night, getting in around 300.  No time was wasted in getting changed into swimsuits and heading for the local hot springs.   It was funny to watch the locals take phjotos of the girls (especially the blondes) in their swimsuits before they got in the lovely hot water.  The big pool was nice and warm but there was another about 35C or so which really got rid of those aches.  And it was nice to be able to order a beer poolside!  It helped me chill out about the fact I had lost my sunglasses earlier today preparing or at lunch.  I was in a mood over that I can tell you!  Iīm not having much luck with possessions on this trip I can tell you!  Back to hotel, showered the sulfer off and wandered into the town center (another Plaza Armas but small and only one average church!).  Got a gorgeous sweeping sunset again but this time framed by huts and power lines!  
At 630 we had a briefing about the Inca Trail like about what you should carry, how much your porter could carry for you (one porter per person plus extra guys but they are only allowed to take 5kg of weight of your personal possessions) and people (who have all along been talking about the Inca trail, this is a big thing on the trip) got quite excited about eh whole thing.  Anticipation is part of the joy in doing it I think
After, went with most of the group to a local restaurant that put on "local" music (lots of pan pipes and beating drums) and "local" dance for the tourists (there must have been 110 tourists there).  I think the highlight was the whipping dance where both the male and the femal dancer whipped each other on the floor and then selected tourists!  A lot of people left after dinner but about 10 of us stayed to watch some of our number dress up in local costume and dance a little routine they had just been taught!  (Go Jo, Mel, May, Kylie!) Unfortunately, while waiting for them to get changed back I got pulled up to dance by the local girl dancer (unfortunate because I looked lkike robot man - donīt my elbows bend?) but I did get some fun pictures of me (everyone agrees the hair flick is the best!)  We were sitting at an altitutude of 3600 so everybody was a bit tired so to bed by 1000.
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