Helen and Paul World Tour 2005/06 travel blog

Vicuna - farmed for its wool

Do you think I'm cute

You smell worse than me!

Mountain view on the way to the Colca Canyon

Helen walks back through offerings to mother earth

Old woman selling her 'crafts' with a small girl who does traditional...

Interior of old church at Vizcachani

Looking out over the canyon

Helen on the edge of the canyon. The picture doesn't due justice...

Peering down the canyon - the river can be seen in the...

Condor spotting with little luck!

Condor showing its white collar

Condor flying off

Baby condor - well maybe not!!!

This donkey made sure we got his best side

Over looking the farming ridges of the Incas

Our Colca group minus the crazy American woman - these guys were...

Crossing back over the Peruvian altiplano at 4800m - the snow moves...

Arequipa and the Cathedral in the main square

We arrived in Arequipa 3 hours late because the bus, although very new broke down.

Our first two days in Arequipa were spent looking for a nice hostel, updating this website, eating their 7 soles almuerzos (starter, main course, dessert and drink), and booking a trip to Colca Canyon, also doing laundry, and you thought we just lazed around everyday!

The day of our Colca Canyon trip arrived and we managed to wake the lazy hostel supervisor up from his slumber for him to make us breakfast. Our bus arrived shortly after breakfast and we set off on our 2 day Colca Canyon trip. The drive to a village called Chivay where were would be spending the night was drawn out by stopping to take photos of alpaca and vicuna which are both relations of the llama. The main reason to go to Colca Canyon other than to stand and gawp at how large it is is to spot condors. Helen must have the eyes of an eagle as she spotted one on the first day (you are only supposed to see them on the second day near their nest but this one must have been taking a long flight). It really was a large bird that just soared through the air on the thermals. Our tour group consisted of two Brazilians, two Spaniards (actually from Basque) and a crazy American woman who thought chocolate originated from the jungle because it was made from orchids??? It's not made from cocoa beans then?

After lunch of freshly caught trout we headed to the thermal pools to relax. Later that evening we joined the rest of our tour group in the local peña for dinner. A peña is a place where the locals play panpipes and drums like they did on Amantani Island and they also put a dance show on before encouraging you to join in with the frivolities. The host took some time to ask where all the people in the peña originated from and we were amazed that we were the only English people there.

The next day was condor-spotting day, again we stopped at the little villages on the way to the viewing point mainly so the tourists can buy the local craft but we didn't because we are stingy!

We walked for 30 minutes to the top condor spotting place, managed to see 2 of them flying whilst walking but when we arrived at the look out we waited an hour before seeing one.

Had lunch in Chivay again before returning to Arequipa.

Caught the bus to Puno (yet again) the next day. We had to have breakfast in the bus terminal because the lazy hostel supervisor didn't get up to make our breakfast again despite the fact he had been give prior warning the previous night. We docked the cost of breakfast out of the price of the room.

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