Saturday, July 11, 2009

Cañon del Colca

During part of our time in Arequipa we went on a two day, one night trip to the Canon del Colca, which is about twice as deep as the Grand Canyon. There were some definite HIGHs and LOWs of this journey.

The HIGHest altitude we reached along the way was approximately 16,100 feet.
The LOWest temperature we experienced was below freezing.

And both of those things almost killed me.

I had never experienced real altitude sickness before and the only way I can describe it is that your body feels like it is filled with sand while at the same time being crushed between four walls. It kicked my butt and all I wanted to do was curl up in a ball and sleep. So sleep I did, in addition to taking a pill. I felt better enough just in time to swim in some delicious hot springs. We stayed the night in the little town of Chivay, where people are very traditional in dress and culture. The next morning, we were able to see about ten Andean Condors, which the canyon is famous for.

Llamas and Alpacas:
A Frozen Waterfall:I took this next one especially for my Reed family, because we like ducks. If you don't know, a pile of rocks like this is called a duck and it marks the spot of something such as a trail or a high point or a lookout or a place you want to remember. This was at the highest point on our drive (the one I almost died at). The peaks in the distance are over 20,000 feet. (Reed family- Remember when we saw the duck beach in New Zealand? This reminded me of that.)The City of Chivay:
Ladies of the Canyon:

Terraces of the canyon, empty due to the winter season:Brooke and the canyon, both waiting for the condors:
Brooke and Matt:
At last, some Andean Condors:

This is the point in the day where my hair started turning into a bird's nest, so I am actually quite lucky that a condor didn't mistakenly try to land on my head:
The end.

1 comment:

  1. Great condor pictures! Hope you are feeling better. Love to you and Matt. The pictures of the local folk are beautiful.
    love you, Dad