El condor pasa

3 05 2010

El Condor...

... pasa...

The Colca Canyon ist the second deepest canyon of the world  as we learned while visiting Peru. So it was a must to hike it – and also a good option to get used to the altitude. You start at the small town of Cabanaconde (a 5-6  hours bus ride from Arequipa) and you walk down around 1000m (3.000 ft) to the river in the canyon bed.

Hiking down Colca Canyon.

We ran out of water before we reached the village we were heading for. The hand drawn map had not shown that you had to hike up the canyon on the other side again, then going along the slope and to walk down the whole distance again.

After 8 hours of walking we decided to turn around and  go back to the river – to boil some water and disinfect it.

We slept outside on the sandy river banks in a full moon night at amazing 22 C Celsius at 2.200m (6.600ft) altitude and hiked back up to Cabanaconde  the next morning. Sore muscles guaranteed.

On the way to the Colca Canyon you pass by the Cruce del Condores. We were lucky. Exactly in our 20 minute break there where about five condors soaring close to the look out point in  150 metres (450 ft) distance.

On the way to and from Cabanaconde you drive over the alitplano where a lot of llamas and guanacos are kept in herds. So this is a road sign worth being printed on t-shirts I think.

Beware of Llamas at the altiplano.

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