Well here we are on our way to Canyon del Colca which is the most popular excursion from Arequipa, the paved road winds and climbs its way northeast past the back of El Mistie and Chanchani Mountains to the National Park which covers 360,000 hectares with an average altitude of 3000 metres. We were fortunate to see vicunas, alpacas and llamas along the road side. It was fabulous to be so close to nature in the wild and not see them exploited althought I dare say we will see this somewhere during our travels. We stopped for coco tea before we reached the highest elevation of 4800 mtrs so far everyone in the group is handling the altitude but we will see what happens tonight when we reach the town of Chivay at a elevation of 3500 mtrs.

Up early and on the road by 6am to take the road to Canyon del Colca which is the 2nd deepest canyon in the world 100 klms long and 3190 meters deep. We stopped at many view points along the way before we reached our exit point where we then walked along the ridge of the canyon hoping to see the elusive condor. Luck was with us and the thermals were perfect a large family of Andean condors glided effortlessly past on the thermal air currents from the canyon. This was a mesmorising experience as the condors swooped over our heads and the hardest decision to make was do I try to take a photo or just watch in awe at these magnificent birds.
On our return to Chivay we stopped at several small towns along the way where the colorfull Andian ladies in thier traditional hats enticed us into buying thier crafts of sweaters, bags, belts hatsm we are not even 1/4 way through our trip and the luggage is bursting oh well we will just have to buy another bag for all the gifts.

Filed under: Adventure travel