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This morning we woke up very early in our hotel room in Chivay. Not sure I can say I slept much. I was desydrated and I had a headhache due to the altitude. Maybe the coca tea before going to bed was not a great idea either.
At 6h30am we took place into the minivan that was going to the Colca Canyon! The road is hardly more than one car width and is following the mountains side on 50km. The first part offer great view on the Colca valley with its terasse from the pre-inka culture. These terasses are built on steep terrain; they are made of a series of rock walls and flat ground use for agriculture. There are a series of canals to take the water coming down from the glacier and distribute it equaly everywhere. It surprising that at such an high altitude, agriculture is possible. January and February is the rainy season. Then March and April are great for harvest/recolt. By June, all these land are totally dry. No plant can live there during the dry/winter season. It actually never snow here, but the temperature can go down to -20c in the winter (july).
The road continue after the valley through tunnels up to 400 meters long.
Everywhere we have an awesome view on the rivers 2000 meters below and the surrounding mountains. We stopped in many view point but the main one was the condor cross view point. It is a very popular touristic attraction based on the number of minivan parked there. The condor is like a huge eagle with black and white color. It only eat dead animal. There are hundreds of them living in the area and we had the chance to see a few 🙂
We then walk along the side of the canyon on a small path surrounded by cactus and amazing views. The minivan pick us up about 2km from the main view point. I can feel the lack of oxygen at such elevation. I won’t be going for a jogging just yet.
We had lunch in Chivay and took the road back to Arequipa.
Tomorrow, the plan is to travel to Puno.