14 November, Friday - Day 18

Morning bus to Cabanaconde, Afternoon condor watching

Up at 4:45 am. Had tea and apple pie for breakfast. Then taxi at 5:25 am to catch our bus. The bus drivers sing out their destinations -- Arequipa, quipa, quipa. A piper plays El Condor Pasa medley on the bus before we take off (Fifth time hearing this tune). He used sea scallop shells as a percussion rasper. At least it’s a chance to get rid of my small change. The bus played a music video too loudly. Couldn’t find my earplugs so had to stuff my ears with Kleenex. The bus service is okay until we hit Chivay. Then it becomes a local with many stops. Flocks of women come onboard with their embroidered hats and costumes. Before long it’s standing room only. Still it only takes 5 hours to reach Cabanaconde instead of the 6 hours we were told it would take. Most likely this is because we took the earliest bus.

Walked to the hostel that was recommended to us and its large so there’s plenty of rooms. The room is nice. Got directions to the overlook that is 10 minutes away but it appears fenced off. Stopped to look inside the local church. The Madonna is the main focus of the altar here. Tourist information and the town center is now closed for lunch so we head back to the hostel. Since nothing is open we might as well have lunch so we have a ham sandwich and café con leche.

Friendly Eduardo, the waiter, explains that the overlook was barricaded after some tourist was hurt on the thorn bushes there. He tells us to just jump the fence. Short nap and off again at 2 pm. We finally figure out where the correct path is to the nearby overlook.

One has to cross over to the path beyond the wheelbarrow barricade.

The overlook to Colca Canyon is spectacular.

The overlook was closed off because a tourist was hurt by the thorns.

Looking back toward the village

We have the place to ourselves and Rusela spots the first condor. It’s very close.
No, I didn’t get a photograph. I deliberately did not bring my bird lens camera on this trip.

We stop to see the local bullfight arena which is currently overrun with sheep.

There’s another overlook further away from town so we decide to take the walk.

It turns out to be quite a long walk uphill past the cemetery and city gate to get to the San Miguel overlook. We determine it is not as nice as the closer Achachigua Mirador. I do see a condor in the distance.

Dusk is approaching and I get some shots of Mount Ampato where Juanita, the Ice Princess was discovered.

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