Short night - up at 5:00 with breakfast at 5:30 a..m. A great variety of cereals (nothing remotely like we have at home), home-made yogurt, freshly squeezed papaya, pineapple and orange juice and of course their incredibly yummy bread with cheese, olives, tomatoes and avocado. The second half of the tour continues......to see the condors. First we make 2 stops at nearby villages in the Canyon; to visit their church and perhaps to have the tourists spend some of their money on local crafts. We do the former, not the latter. The scenery is all so different (as I've mentioned before) and we are happy to be part of it. The mountains surround the Inca terraces, the lakes and animals that graze on the side of the road - it's truly a site to behold.
Olivia is preparing us for the condors - saying there is no guarantee on how many we see and IF we see any at all. We pull off the side of the road and see one immediately soaring off in the distance. We make the trek down the stairs to get closer to where there are 3 or 4 flying. All of the sudden, we see more condors, probably 20 in total. It's so hard to capture the photo, unless you have a bad ass camera (which I do not) but more importantly, they soar so fast you almost have to hone in on one and take the shot. We cannot believe how lucky we are to see so many at one time. We are there about an hour - it's cold and windy and I was afraid my hat was going to blow off my head. The other couple in our tour (from Denmark) had a great camera and got some great shots. He offer to send a few to me. Hopefully, they won't forget! Chivay is the village we stop at for lunch with a wide variety of food to choose from. Chicken, alpaca, noodles, sweet potatoes, beets, avocado, tomatoes and chocolate quinoa for dessert. All this food for 28 soles each or under $10.
The tour ends and Coco drops us off at our hotel - we are now preparing for dinner at Chica's. I cannot wait to have a glass or two of wine.
1) The Colca Canyon is twice the depth of the Grand Canyon.
2) The population of Arequipa is 1 Million - that is why we are staying within the 2 blocks of our hotel - the traffic is incredible and I observed stop signs are merely a suggestion and not mandatory.
3) Arequipa is nicknamed the "White City" since the buildings are made of sillar.
4) Arequipa has over 200 volcanoes - 3 are active close to the city