We got up at 6 am in the cold to see if the Condors had come out early to soar over us.
They hadn’t. So we took a photo of us freezing !
They didn’t come at 7 am either. Although at 8 or so we did see one way below us.
And by this time the tourist buses were starting to come out, so our small group of 8 of us who had camped over night were now outnumbered. However, most of the tourists seem more interested in posing for selfies (men suck it in for selfies, females stick them out (lips usually, but not always)) than looking for condors. I guess some days are good, and some days aren’t. We could see a few a long way away in the distance, and through binoculars they certainly are spectacular. But today at Mirador Cruz del Condor they did not come out to play. Never mind, we are likely to see them more in the Andes as we head south down Ruta 40.
So at about 10.30 am, after taking lots of pics of the stunning mountains all around us, we headed back up the dirt road to Chivay, and after a quick stop in the square to buy some bread rolls, we headed towards Arequipa.
The first part of the road is the same stunning section we did yesterday, up over the Mirador Las Volcans pass of 4906 metres, and then over the wide open pampas. I could drive that road 50 times and it would never get boring ! Up at the top there is this weird green lichen on the rocks, and when you get out to touch it, although it looks so soft, it is actually really hard and crispy. I guess it has to be hard and rugged to survive up there !!
We stopped for lunch just before we joined the main road from Juliaca to Arequipa because we knew there was a fruit control post there – They had pinched an apple off us yesterday. So we ate all our fruit up during lunch.
And then when we got to the control, he waved us straight through !!! Doh !!!
Then dropped into Arequipe down this amazing drop of about 3000 metres in 25 miles – Lots of heavily laden Bolivian trucks chugging up the hill while we swept down.
We found a hotel almost right in the centre of town that has a camping area, hot showers, and it is only about 10 minutes walk into the central Plaza de Armas, and 100 yards to a big supermarket. A perfect place to stop for a couple of nights, catch up, before we head down to Chile and the run down to Santiago.
Photos are here :- https://picasaweb.google.com/117739775480775657932/0156ColcaCanyonToArequipa?authkey=Gv1sRgCIC4jvm_hNSWlwE#