Arequipa and Colca Canyon

Trip Start Feb 14, 2009
Trip End Dec 20, 2009

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Thursday, April 23, 2009

The next day we were back on Moose and driving to Arequipa, to stop for 3 nights. The main attraction in Arequipa is that it is handy to the Colca Canyon. One of the tours option excursions was to have an over night stay in one of the small towns in the canyon, visit some natural hot springs and then head further into the canyon the next morning to see some Condors riding the thermal draughts. We did it, and managed to see 10 Condors in varying stages of maturity. They came really close but the photos sort of make them seem like specs in the distance....We promise they weren´t.  

Most of our 2 day three night stay in Arequipa was taking up with visiting Colca Canyon but we did manage to visit the town, hit the markets and haggle for some nice leather belts. We alse had a lunch time encounter with a hammered resturant owner who was pouring pisco into his father in-laws tea cup and offering Alex beer (from his own glass) before we even sat down. Interesting times. When we tried to pay and leave the plastered father in-law came and  slurred all over us for several minutes, pretty much all we could understand was that he was from one of the small town in the Colca Canyon originally, but not the one we were going to....


Finally and slightly out of order, one of the view points along the Canyon road had little old ladies selling alapaca goods. (Actually EVERY view point has them, but we stopped at this one) A tourist gimick at this particular one was to dress up as a traditional peruvian woman from the area (identified by their hat). I was not keen, but apparently the power of Alex´s touristyness and a small peruvian woman´s desire for a tip completely outweighs my aprehensions. A little imagination and I´m sure you can picture Alex saying "she wants to get dressed up" me saying "no! no!" and the little peruvian woman saying "rapido, rapido" whipping out from behind her stall with astonishing swiftness and putting 2 skirts, a shirt, waistcoat and hat on me before I knew what was happening. She was a pro though, and she made me pose properly and everything. (Because no. I don´t usually sit on a wall with my hands on my hips to have my photo taken).
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