South America part 4 The worlds' deepest canyon, condors, and an overnight bus
We left Nasca on June 17 on an overnight bus to Arequipa. It sucked. We were seated in the back of the bus. It was smelly, hot, and uncomfortable. I woke up multiple times with claustrophobia because my legs were trapped by the reclining seats in front of us. It was horrible. We arrived in Arequipa around 5 in the morning. We elected to stay at the Casa de Avila, but we were leaving that morning for a 2 day tour of Colca canyon. The hotel was a converted colonial mansion. They were so very kind and the allowed us to store our bags and to rest in one of the common rooms until breakfast. We then were picked up for our trip to Colca canyon.
The road to Colca Canyon
|Wild vicuña on the side of the road|
The trip out of Arequipa took about an hour because of traffic. We then began our climb. The drive took us up past 15,000 feet elevation. We stopped at the highest point to see the volcanos, stacked rocks, and domestic Llamas and Alpacas. We arrived in Chivay in time for lunch. That evening we went to the Hot springs. It was a beautiful location, the pools were ok and the facilities were ok. The warm water was wonderful. After dinner Greta and I tired to have an astronomy tour, but it was too cloudy.
|Mate de coca|
|Llama with decoration|
|Next to the hot springs|
|Volcano Pikchu Pikchu|
The next morning we got up before dawn to travel to Colca Canyon to be there early to get to the cruz de condor overlook to see the condors. We stoped to take a short walk along the rim of the canyon and from there we saw some (3 or 4) juvenile condors. We then drove to the main lookout and it was spectacular. There were about 10 flying and as we drove up 2 were flying right near the lookout and were so close and so big. We stayed for about an hour to watch them coasting on the air currents through the canyon. We headed back to Arequipa it was Corpus Christi so we walked through the plaza grande and saw the decorations on the street for corpus. The next morning we got up early again to travel to Puno on Lake Titicaca.
|The valley on the way to the look out with ancient terraces|