Condor Spotting

Trip Start Sep 06, 2009
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Trip End Dec 05, 2009


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Where I stayed
Mamayachi Hotel

Flag of Peru  , Colca Canyon,
Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Hola!!!

Quick trip to the Farmarcia this morning to pick up some tablets for Kate, should make her feel better in no time!!!

After one day in Arequipa we caught a private bus transfer to the Colca Canyon, the jouney only takes about 5 hours however itīs along some of the bumpiest roads you are ever likely to see, our tour guide tells us that for Peru the road is not too bad!!!!

We stop at along the way and try Coco tea, made from the leaves of the Coco plant which contain a very tiny amount of Cocaine!!!!  Itīs not addictive and Coco tea is great for the altitude as during the journey to Colca we reach 4,900m (over 14,500 ft), even with the Coco tea we still feel dizzy and short of breath when walking!!!!

Our hotel in Colca is literally in the middle of no where, very rural Peru and the scenery is stunning, huge mountains with snow cap peaks in the not too far distance.

We took a 90min hike up the side of one of the mountains to see a Pre-Inka burial site complete with human remains. Cool!!!

We woke the following morning at 5am in order that we could leave to see Condors, again the roads are awful but that didnīt matter when we saw our first Condor at around 9am, huge birds with a 3 meter wing span, it was an amazing sight!!!  We were told that that we would do well to see more than a couple of the birds, but in the end there must have been around 10 or 12 gliding on the updrafts of the Canyon. Breathtaking!!!!

On the journey back we passed over and stopped at a village on a geological fault line, which makes the land around move at around 1cm a year, again that was pretty cool!!!

Had a lazy afternoon and recharged our batteries before heading to the local Hot Spring Baths, not as good as Baņos but still great to sit in hot water and watch the sun disappear behind the mountains.

Our final meal in the Colca Canyon was spent watching authentic Peruvian dancing... funny but still great food and fun entertainment...

Heading back to Arequipa in the morning... not more bumpy roads!!!!!

Blog you later

Mark and Kate
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