Thursday, October 26, 2006
The One with Juanita and the Condor Watch!
5am wake up call - mmmm!
We travelled along the Colca River to the start of the Colca Canyon to watch the Condors rising on the Morning Thermals.
They had not been given the same time guide as us, so we spent a good 45 minutes spotting llama shaped rocks and dragons on the hillside formed by the clouds.
Finally the condors decided to show, and with hundreds of pairs of binoculars and cameras on them they performed like stars, circling up and around and swooping below with brilliant flashes of their black and white wings.
We were very lucky to see one perched on a ledge for some time, and with a whole group of people willing him to, he spread his wings and took off, with the cameras snapping in appreciation!
On the way back to Arequipa we stopped at Moca where I had my photo taken with Diana the Llama - she even smiled for the camera!
Back at Arequipa a bit earlier than expected, Jimmy, H and I went to the Juanita Museum to see Juanita the Ice Maiden of Ampato ( Neil - it looks like Ice Maidens don't stop at the ticket office!)
This was one thing from my A Level History that I had taken in! Juanita was an incan Sacrifice to the Ampato mountain, as due to El Nino, and the following weather conditions, the Incans thought their mountain God was angry with them. Anyway... Juanita walked from Cusco, up the 21,000ft mountain, where she was sedated with a drink called chicha and then bashed over the head with a mace. Because of the following snow, her mummy has been perfectly preserved (and without embalming like the Egyptians) - She still has her hair, and you can se all the details even down to her fingernails. The museum was fascinating and filled in a lots of missing bits of information from the previous few days. They even showed us the DVD that I had watched in A Level lessons 8 years earlier!!!