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12 travelers at this place

  • Day31

    Up Close with the Condors

    May 28, 2018 in Peru

    Some days are destined to stick in your mind for a lifetime. Today was such a day. After an early 4.00 am alarm, we set out from our hotel at 6.00 am for an exciting drive along the edge of the spectacular Colca Canyon to an elevated vantage point known as the Condor Cross.

    The main aim of our early morning was to observe the mighty condors as they rise from their cliff side nests and catch the rising thermals to soar high into the sky. Any such bird watching activity comes without any guarantees. We knew that it would be possible to spend considerable time perched on the edge of the precipice and not see a single bird.

    The first 30 minutes went by without seeing a single condor. I started to get slightly anxious. "I am sure they will appear at any moment" I stated. Actually I wasn't, but I did not want my anxiety to be passed on to the rest of the team. We waited some more. Then the first condor appeared. A cheer went right. Then another. And another. Soon there were 6 or more in flight at the same time. We were going to be in for a treat after all.

    For the next 60 minutes we sat mesmerised by these huge birds as they glided back and forth over our heads, looking to catch that elusive thermal updraft. At times they flew so close that we could clearly see their heads. I am sure that no one was disappointed.

    If that was not memorable enough, we then went on a walk along the cliff tops of the canyon, and to our sheer joy, several condors followed us at close quarters. It was almost as if they were attracted by our yellow jerseys. Whatever the reason it was a moment that we will all cherish for a very long time.

    After the walk we met our new cycling guides and climbed aboard our allotted bikes and started a challenging ride along the side of the canyon. It was not so challenging because of the climbs, but because of the thin air and the fumes from the nearby erupting volcano. From time to time we all burst into fits of coughing, alternated with fits of laughter.

    The final part of the ride consisted of an extended technical MTB descent over a rock strewn dirt track down to the valley floor. It was like riding a bucking horse, but the feeling was absolutely exhilarating.

    It was very obvious that this team was nowhere as experienced or as professional as the cycling team we had worked with in the Sacred Valley. Not only were the bikes no so well prepared, but the guides often seemed to be lost along the way. The lunch was "forgettable" to say the least, and the "support vehicle" looked like it needed life support itself. In fact it was so bad it was quite funny. At the end of the day I passed on a few suggestions (ie instructions) as to how they needed to improve for the final day of riding.

    Tomorrow we complete the final day of cycling and finish a long day in Arequipa, the city that nestles under the shadow of the mighty active volcano Mt Misty. I hope it can delay its next overdue eruption until we are safely out of the area.
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  • Day83

    Colca Canyon II

    June 11, 2017 in Peru ⋅ ☀️ 29 °C

    We were all so tired that we were sleeping around nine. I shared the room with Merel, a 19year old girl from the Netherland, traveling on her own in South America, speaking Dutch, English, Spanish and German since she left Europe after a season as a ski instructor in Austria. A very bright and lovely girl. Then there was Anna from Germany, also alone on the way, 22years, ergotherapeut and taking some time off between jobs. She doesn't know when she will go back home. I think this is very brave I don't know if I could travel not knowing when going home since already looking forward doing that in a month and seeing my people again, going to the Gurtenfestival and also starting to work.
    We had the meeting this morning at 4:55h. Cesar alsways had funny meeting times. We started the 6km hike 1200m up to 3400m. Still dark, the moon was giving enough light to walk without a torch. It was beautiful. I enjoyed it very much. Unfortunately some had problems, like Aurelien, suffering of altitude sickness. I was scared he would faint so I walked the last bit with him carrying his backpack. Luckily he got up there and after some break he looked and felt much better. We had breakfast in a nice little restaurant nad headed to the hot springs. That was a nice treat. Lunch was a bit frustrating since we stopped at a restaurant which wad overpriced and the staff very rude and unfriendly. At least the food was good and the company as well. After a short stop where we could quickly take pictures of Llamas and Alpacas we headed back to Arequipa. I took a shower, unpacked and repacked my backpacks and I am now sitting in the bus to Cusco for Trail number 2.
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  • Day6

    Runter gehts Richtung Chivay

    September 20, 2018 in Peru

    Und dann geht's wieder runter, hinein ins Colca-Tal in Richtung Chivay. War der "Aufstieg" fast gemächlich, schrauben wir uns recht schnell ins Tal hinab. In Chivay gibt's dann noch ein spätes Mittagessen, ist allerdings keinen Foodprint wert.Read more

  • Day8

    Canon de Colca - Kondorbeobachtung

    October 19, 2016 in Peru ⋅ ☁️ 0 °C

    Heute ging es um halb 7 los in das Tal des Colca Flusses. Hier gibt es einen der besten Plätze in den Anden, um Kondore mit einer Flügelspannweite bis zu 3m zu beobachten. Auf dem Weg dorthin kommen wir an der typischen Landschaft der Anden vorbei - alte Inka-Terrassen die heute noch zur Landwirtschaft genutzt werden, kleine Dörfer der Andenvölker in ihren traditionellen Trachten und mein absolutes Highlight : ganz viele kleine Alpaca. Die Tiere sind so unglaublich lieb und flauschig und geben sehr gerne Bussis :) Die süßesten sind natürlich die Babys mit bis zu 3 Monaten, die man auch füttern darf. So eins würde ich sofort ins Handgepäck nehmen wenn ich könnte <3 Am Aussichtspunkt mussten wir auch nicht lange warten und haben gleich 2 junge Kondore gesehen. Innerhalb von einer Stunde kamen noch viele mehr aus ihren Nestern in den Steilwänden um die morgendliche Thermik für weite Flüge zu nutzen. Zum Glück waren wir so früh da, bald nach uns haben sie die Touris förmlich aus den Bussen ausgespuckt. Am Rückweg haben wir noch das typische Getränk der Gegend getrunken - Colca Sour (Pisco, Eiweiß, Zucker). Es ist eigentlich wie Pisco Sour nur mit dem Saft einer Kaktus Frucht. Da mir und meinem Magen das rohe Eiweiß noch etwas suspekt war, bin ich bei der antialkoholischen Variante (nur Kaktussaft) geblieben. Abends gab es traditionellen Tanz und wir wurden natürlich auch aufgefordert :)Read more

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