The EARLY morning excursion to COLCA CANYON... CONDORS???

Chivay Travel Blog

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Hanner and I were awakened at 3 in the morning by a harsh BEEPING sound outside of our window. We leaped out of bed and rushed around the room like crazy people as the tour bus threatened to leave us if we didn't come out quickly. My friend's mom held them off for a while as we brushed our teeth and put on our shoes. As a result of the strike going on across Peru, the tour bus was forced to leave a mite earlier than they originally planned.

Hanner and I MADE it just in time:) We had bundled up in our fleeces, long sleeve shirts, warm winter jackets, gloves, scarves, and hats. It felt like we were in Iowa during the midst of a blizzard, for there was no heat on the bus and the windows had frozen over forming ice on the inside! We huddled together as close as we could, hoping for warmth.

As we neared the 1.5 hour mark, the bus was forced to pull over for a border patrol/bathroom break. What we encountered was unlike anything I've seen... well, seen could be a relative term since it was still dark and the only source of light was the moon overhead and the stars twinkling away. Rough shacks lined the road, and as the travelers entered, I noticed that it looked as if they were ice skating.. as they glided across the "floor" or as some slipped and fell. It turns out that it was so cold that the water had turned to ice and covered the floor... the stalls were covered in a slightly off colored ice as well.. quite the experience.. I tried my best NOT to slip and fall as I knew what lie beneath me:)

Arriving in Chivay and along the route we encountered beautiful landscape, brightly woven materials, amazing wildlife, etc.

a condor sighting!!
It was a scene from a book or what I pictured when I thought of indigineous people.. in the brightly colored clothes with their llamas and alpacas making their way through the mountains with their wares on their backs. Did you know that they sometimes travel for 2 hours just to make it to their particular spot to sell their items. Then they travel another 2 hours back to their homes. It is something that I cannot comprehend. It is how they make their living.. how they provide for their families, and it is a family affair.

Hannah and I finally reached the place where we would view the infamous condors. We bought some COCA candy to help with our altitude sickness and pretty much ate each and every piece in hopes that we would be able to climb up the steps without fainting.

:) The condors were much more graceful than I imagined and much larger.. they were like eagles in flight.. gliding across the valley from side to side. You could hear the oooohs and awwwwws of the crowds of people as the condors made their way to and fro across the canyon. It really was a beautiful sight.

That night to warm up, we headed to the hot springs.. this, my friends, is HIGHLY recommended! I did have a little fun with my friend, though, as I convinced many of the gentlemen that she would like to go out with them:) My friend didn't speak Spanish, so it was quite funny to watch them making their advances and having her look shocked and confused as to their ardor and passion towards her. There were no love connections that night for her... I tried to find her just the right guy, but alas, there was no one. :)

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a condor sighting!!
a condor sighting!!
photo by: scacos2006