WE ARE OFF TO HIGHER ELEVATION: THE COLCA CANYON AREA
We are back on the road at 7 am. We saw the other side of the 3 volcanoes and much closer. Misti means the Lord. Pichu Pichu means 2 peaks. Chachani means white dress, due to the snow covered peaks. These volcanoes have less glaciers on their peaks due to global warming. All the Peruvian people are considered the children of the mountains.
We passed a few schools. Education is not free at any level. Even poor people are expected to pay. As a result, many poor children do not get educated. Those who do get to go are usually boys rather than girls. But this is slowly changing.
We went through a police check. In Peru, if you are given a fine by the police a bribe could be paid. It is called a "cup of coffee" which could be small, medium or large. However you NEVER EVER bribe female police! They stick to the rules.
Along our travels towards Colca Canyon we got to see the different types of camelids. There are 4 types: Vicuna, Alpaca, Llama and Guanaca. We saw the first 3 kinds. The Vicuna provides very expensive wool. They are white on their bellies and light brown on the back. Only the brown wool is shaved since the white is what keeps the animal warm. It is expensive since their hair grows very slowly and so they are shaved only once a year. Alpacas and llamas are similar to look at. The tail and ears is what tells them apart. Alpacas are larger and their wool is softer than llamas wool. Sometimes these camelids species will cross breed making sterile Huarizo.
We stopped at the Pampas(a plain at high elevation)to view different birds in the various water ponds. We saw the Andean goose, Ibis and Coot. Then we crossed the continental divide.
We had a lunch stop at Chivay which lies beside the Colca River. This river runs from Peru's southern highlands through the Western Andes and on to the Pacific ocean.