Lynn & David travelling in South America travel blog

Emptiness en route to Colca Canyon, Peru

Volcanoes from highest point en route to Colca Canyon, Peru (4,910 metres...

Colca Canyon, Peru

Condor, Colca Canyon, Peru

David at Colca Canyon, Peru

Condor, Colca Canyon, Peru

Condor, Colca Canyon, Peru

Condor, Colca Canyon, Peru

Condor, Colca Canyon, Peru

Condors, Colca Canyon, Peru

Condor, Colca Canyon, Peru

Condor, Colca Canyon, Peru

Condor, Colca Canyon, Peru

Condor, Colca Canyon, Peru

Colca Valley showing terraces, Colca Canyon, Peru


Tuesday 17th June 2014

Arequipa to the Colca Canyon and Coporaque, Peru - Day of the Condors

We woke up at 3:00am this morning and left at 3:30am in a minibus for our trip to the amazing Colca Canyon. By about 5:30am, we had reached an altitude of 4,910m above sea level and we stopped for a photo opportunity. We looked across the landscape to see two beautiful volcanoes, one smoking, in the crystal clear morning air. A fantastic sight. We then drove further and by around 7:00am we had reached a little town where we stopped for a toilet break and people were selling all manner of handmade Peruvian handcrafts, mainly bright coloured woollen (or alpaca, or llama) dolls, scarves, gloves, hats, jumpers, blankets - you name it, they had it. A few of the group by this stage were suffering quite a bit from the altitude, had headaches, nose bleeds and were feeling quite nauseous. We were not much affected this time as we had already had some time at altitude in both Colombia and Ecuador and this helped us to avoid the worst of the effects of the altitude. We drove on into the valley of the Colca River, a hauntingly beautiful place that has been farmed by local people for over 1,500 years - the Spanish came through here in the 16th Century but couldn't find much gold or silver even though the Incas had conquered the people in these peaceful valleys, so they pretty much left them to do their own thing which was to live in peace. We climbed higher and higher above the river until we reached a point where we were dropped off and were able to walk to lookouts overlooking the Colca Canyon, deeper than the Grand Canyon. The river was far below us and we marvelled at the beautiful place we had come to see. Then the condors came - this place is famous for them and they put on an amazing show today, soaring on the thermals and sometimes flying only a few metres above our heads. It was just stunning, watching them fly back and forth in the clear blue sky and seeing them etched against the mountains on the other side of the canyon. Just one of the best things ever! At around 10:00am, we had to leave to go back down to the town and lunch. Today there were about 20 minibuses there and about 200-300 people to witness this fantastic sight. Not sure how many condors there were but maybe about 20-30 altogether. We had lunch in the town of Chivay and then did a small bit of shopping before we were taken to our hotel in nearby Coporaque. So we arrived at our hotel that had a beautiful view of the mountains and the valley we had just visited. Some people went to the hot springs but we thought we would just stay around the hotel. We went for a walk up to the town (Coporaque) with Kirstin, had an ice cream, had a look at the church and sat in the sun in the empty square. We walked back to the hotel, had some drinks from the bar sitting under our blankets on bed in our room (it was freezing now) and read our books to while away the time. The heater in the room was turned on at 5.30pm but it only took the chill off the room. Although there was an expensive buffet dinner on offer, we eventually had a snack in our room and went to bed at around 9:00pm. A fantastic day.



Advertisement
OperationEyesight.com
Entry Rating:     Why ratings?
Please Rate:  
Thank you for voting!
Share |