Friday.....Condors at Colca Canyon and return to Arequipa

Arequipa Travel Blog

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There were 12 of these rocks in a ring before earthquakes in 1990s

Was picked up at 6:30, picked up the others from their hostal and drove towards Colca Canyon.  Stopped a couple of times for photos.  Arrived at Colca Canyon around 8:30.  The condors here are not as big as in some other countries eg Colombia. 

 

Waited for ages and didn’t see any, then suddenly there were lots of them flying.  The time they leave their nests depends on the time of year, temperature and wind.  Guess they were sleeping in this morning.  Went back to the minibus about 9:30 as it was very cold and I’d taken enough photos, though afterwards I realized that I probably could’ve taken closer photos. 

 

Colca Canyon is supposed to be deeper than the Grand Canyon, but I don’t know if this is true.

Start of Colca Canyon

 

No-one told me to take warm clothes; luckily I packed plenty just in case.  I was just warm enough with two pairs of thermal underwear, two pairs of sox, a t-shirt, 2 skivvies, an alpaca jumper and warm jacket, gloves and undergloves and my hat from San Pedro.  Would have brought my scarf too, if I’d realized how cold it was going to be.  So take plenty of warm clothes, not sure if it’s cold in summer too.  Also I opted for the two day trip, which is much better if you can possibly find the time.  Would not have liked to do all this in one day.

 

We stopped at the village of Maca on the way back to Chivay.  There was, of course, a mini market and you could have your photo taken with a “tame” condor or baby llama, the usual scenario.

Colca Canyon; market
  Arrived at Chivay around 1 and just happened to pull up in front of a restaurant where some man rushed out and tried to get us to come in.  I went to another place and had a sort of hamburger, ham, egg and cheese roll.  Didn’t eat the cheese.  Plus one Sprite, total NS10, AUD3.67.  Quite expensive.  I sat in the main plaza for a few minutes and noticed that there was still ice on the fountain.  Yes, it had been a very cold night.

 

We left at 2 and the guide said that we would be back in three hours.  As usual he was wrong, I was back in my hotel at 4.  I was very unimpressed by the guide.  His command of English really wasn’t good enough to be a guide.  He went on and on about trivial things and didn't give information which would have been interesting.

Colca Canyon, waiting for condors
  I couldn’t be bothered asking questions in the end and noticed that this was true of other people too.  Apart from the guide, the money was very well spent and the driver, Jorge, was fine.  So don’t go on a tour with Colonial Tours if Oliver is the guide.  I told the lady at Casa de Avila about the guide and she said that she could try to get a discount for me.  I said that wasn’t why I was complaining, just so that they knew, as they had organized the trip.  Would rather have paid more and had a better guide.  She said it was difficult to get good guides in Arequipa as they weren’t paid much.  Now there’s a career opening for a good guide. 

 

Couldn’t be bothered going into town for tea so had a Domino’s Hawaiian pizza and small Sprite delivered.

Condor
  NS30.50, AUD11, including taxi.  Organized by reception and delivered to my door.  Couldn’t even eat half the pizza, although I’d bought the smallest size.  There’s some do on here tonight; lots of men and two girls in clingy outfits and bare midriffs handing out information.  Sandra says it’s a conference.  I’m in my room about 9:30 and hear all this noise.  Open the door and there must be well in excess of 50 guys standing on the grass and outside the room.  I shut the door, thinking of conferences I’ve been to and the noise that we used to make.  Oh dear.  But just as suddenly as the noise came, it abates, and by 10 all is quiet.  I discover the next day that this was just a one evening event, not for any longer.

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There were 12 of these rocks in a …
There were 12 of these rocks in a…
Start of Colca Canyon
Start of Colca Canyon
Colca Canyon; market
Colca Canyon; market
Colca Canyon, waiting for condors
Colca Canyon, waiting for condors
Condor
Condor
Condor
Condor
Condors, in case you thought they …
Condors, in case you thought they…
Carpark at Colca Canyon
Carpark at Colca Canyon
Pre-Inca terraces
Pre-Inca terraces
Pre-Inca terraces
Pre-Inca terraces
Maca, church, photo opportunities
Maca, church, photo opportunities
Plaza at Chivay
Plaza at Chivay
Chiva, Fountain in plaza, still wi…
Chiva, Fountain in plaza, still w…
Arequipa
photo by: halilee