The Vultures of the Andes
Trip Start Aug 25, 2010
65Trip End Ongoing
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As we arrived into Chivay we stopped at a restaurant to eat a buffet lunch, which Aff thought was surprisingly good despite being slightly overpriced (Carla was still ill). The minibus then dropped the first set of people at a hotel (obviously those paying more for the tour) and took us to a hotel on the outskirts of the town. Despite only paying 55 soles for the trip the hostel was surprisingly nice, it had cabin-style rooms with ensuite bathrooms, the only downfall was the distance from the village, meaning we could not wander around and explore it
After being dropped off at the hostel Carla took the opportunity to sleep and recover. She woke up feeling much better, so we went off to the thermal baths with the other people from the trip. There were six baths at the complex, but we only managed to try two, one inside and one outside, both about 40 degrees. After a shower we went for dinner which had been arranged by the tour (although not included in the price), which included a show of traditional dance. When we arrived we decided we would look at the bill and if it was expensive we would go elsewhere. Unsurprisingly it was quite expensive, so we went to leave, but as we were heading out of the door one of the waitresses stopped us and said we could have the set meal for 15 soles instead of 25 soles, so we decided to stay. During the meal there was a great live band who looked like they were really enjoying themselves, after a few songs the traditional dancing began, with two men and two women dressed in traditional costumes. They did several dances during the course of the meal, but the strangest was when they had a ball on the end of the rope and hit the other person while they appeared to spasm on the floor! After dinner we went to bed early because the following day we had to wake up at 5am to get to the condor lookout by 8am.
At 5.30am the minibus arrived to take us to the condor lookout
At Chivay we stopped at a restaurant for another overpriced buffet, but this time we decided to miss it and go into the centre to see what else we could get. To our surprise the waitress followed us again and offered the buffet at a discount price, but as we had been staying in a hostel out of the centre we decided to go somewhere else anyway to view the centre. While we were having lunch there was a religous procession through the centre and we also view several villagers dressed in traditional costumes including the children, which we assume was probably just to get money from photos. After lunch we headed back to Arequipa, which gave us just enough time to get some food before we got the night bus to Puno.