February 14th, 2008 – by: sissanoel
View of the Colca CAnyon.
Early start today, left at 6am for Cruz de Condors to see the massive Indian Condors in flight. Stopped at the little village of Yanque
on the way where we saw plenty of traditionally attired ladies and a church in the process of restoration - it´s the oldest church in the Colca Canyon, built in the mid-1700´s. Our drive spent a lot of time under the bus, fiddling with the front wheel, so here´s hoping we make it back in one piece! Another bus definitely didn´t (arrive in one piece that is) and our driver stopped to help him change his tyre, so we arrived at Cruz de Condors at about 8.15am. Didn´t matter, though, because as soon as we got to the lookout point, we saw an adult and a juvenile gliding around.
Condor flying over Colca cAnyon.
Later on we saw another couple of juveniles and one sat on a rock and looked at us all for awhile, too. They´re not particularly attractive birds on the ground, but very impressive in flight with their massive wings and easy gliding. WE bought a hand-sewn wall hanging with a condor and volcano on it, so will be a nice memento. We drove a little further up the canyon and then went for a 50 minute hike along the irrigation pipe, so had fantastic views right along the valley. Even had another couple of condors gliding above us for a short while, which was nice. The hike was fine, until we had to climb the 10 metre hill to the bus, which nearly killed us! Incredible how quickly any exertion affects you up here. Stopped in a small village on the way back and we bought a gorgeous little doll, dressed like a local lady with a baby on her back and one on the front - so cute.
Local lady, Colca Canyon.
Went to a restaurant in Chivay
for dinner, they put on a set meal and show, which was quite good, with a band and dancers. We tried pan-fried alpaca this time - pretty good, this time it tasted more like pork. One of the dances seemed to involve the man getting very drunk and having to be revived by the lady, who sits on him and waves her skirts about his face before hitting him with her handbag! not sure if this is a cultural comment or simply life in general! Didn´t get home too late, about 10pm, but went straight to bed to recover from our exertions!