Colca Canyon, impressive land

Colca Travel Blog

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Arequipa is 2.330 meters above the sea level and on the way to Colca Canyon we reached 4.910 meters. It was quite dark when we left, but we were so excited about our one-day tour that we couldn’t stop talking to the tour guide. His name was Pepe! Did you know where Pepe comes from? He told us that comes from the Bible, as they mention Patter Putativus written as p.p. Damn! You learn something new every day!

On the way we passed by a cooper mine. It seems to be that Chile, Perú and the USA are the largest producers of this mineral worldwide. Although Perú sends everything they extract to Chile to be processed. Our guide also explained to us what was the deal with Quechua (native language). They don’t teach it in school, so it is only spoken in remote towns and villages in the mountains.
And Quechua speaking people don’t speak it when visiting large cities, as they are kind of ashamed.

Around 6am the sun was already rising and we stopped in Chivay, a small village at the beginning of the Colca Valley. At the entrance you will have to pay the national park ticket if you want to visit it. It was about 30 pesos per person! We had breakfast in a small restaurant in the center of town! We had to fill our stomachs before heading the Condor Cross! If you get lucky you can see condors flying along the Canyon! As I wanted to make sure to see Condors, I offered Jimmy to the Pachamama! Just kidding! Pepe explained to us that when Peruvians in the mountains offer pisco, coca leafs, llama fat, quinua and other products to the land (Pachamama) if they want something in return.
If you take care of the land, land will take care of you. In one of the rituals they offer the sacred mountains (APU) the sacrifice of an “alpaca”, and once it is dead, they take out its heart, they eat it and then paint the other animals with its blood.

On the way we stopped in a couple of towns in the middle of the valley and we took some photos with eagles, condors, alpacas and llamas. And you also find tons of small tends with souvenirs and other products they sell to tourists. By the way, every time you take a photo with any sort of animals you pay around 1 sol.

We reached the Condor Cross around 8.30 and we saw condors straight away! I had my 100-400 lens but it was quite difficult to get them in the picture! I still don’t know if it was due to condor’s speed or because we had some Cusqueñas (local beer) while waiting the condors to appear ☺ Check out my photos! Around 9.
30 am Pepe came to pick us up and we headed to a thermal site. Two hours later we were already having the best buffet in the same place we had breakfast!. On the way back everyone fell asleep, well, everyone except the driver hehehehee.

At 5.30 pm we were back in Arequipa. This city is the second largest city in Peru with 855.000 citizens. It is a pity we had no time to visit it as the plane to Lima was leaving at 7.30pm. We arrived to our hotel in Lima around 11pm, so we just went to sleep. Our trip was over! ☹

Right now I am revising everything I have written under the effects of a nice red wine bottle! ☺

On my way to Peru I created a tag cloud with some key tags:
Jungle, jaguar, chaman, Inca, condor, crevice, Machu Picchu, lama, Amazonia, Titicaca

After spending a week working and visiting the country, my tag cloud has changed a little bit:

Condor, puma, snake, gastronomy, Macchu Picchu, Waynapicchu, Colca, warmness, llama, chaman, inca, aceviche, pisco sour, coca sour, cusco, security, Titicaca, pachamama, quechua, silver, Inca cola, chefs, Plaza de Armas, jelly, coca leaf

• Book your Machu Picchu tickets in advance
• Stay in Aguas Calientes the day before and after
• Withdraw money as you cannot pay with credit card in many places (they charged them around 7% commission)
• Bring some toilet paper with you, some bathrooms do not have
• In most places you are asked to throw the toilet paper in a bin, not in throne! ☺
• Don’t eat much for dinner when being more than 2000 meters above sea level
• When you get to Cusco or Arequipa, have some coca mate when you get there
• In Peru you give only one kiss on the left chick to women, and you shake hands with men
• Tourism offices are very helpful
• From Miraflores to the airport we paid 25 soles, so be careful, in most places they charge you 45.
If you get the taxi outside the airport, they don’t have to pay airport taxes and it is much cheaper. Don’t get a taxi in a hotel, as they charge 45 soles minimum
tirsomaldonado says:
Cusqueña rocks! ;)
Posted on: May 03, 2010
alyssa_ob says:
I would add to the list be careful drinking too much beer when above 2000 m, also ;)
Posted on: May 03, 2010
silviazasca says:
La verdad q dejaría bastantes comentarios... váya lugar y q fotos!!!
Posted on: May 02, 2010
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photo by: Sylvie1