Monday, September 1, 2014

Neal Bierling, Archaeological Adventures: Getting High in Peru, Year 2: Canon del Dolca with...

Neal Bierling, Archaeological Adventures: Getting High in Peru, Year 2: Canon del Dolca with...: Getting High in the Andes: Canon del Colca   One of the soaring Condors, above and below             We left Arequipa, Per...

Getting High in Peru, Year 2: Canon del Colca with the Condors

Getting High in the Andes: Canon del Colca
One of the soaring Condors, above and below

            We left Arequipa, Peru (estudiantes, profe, y yo) a las ocho (8 AM) on Saturday, August 30 for Canon de Colca, which not only has a deep canyon but also the soaring condors (Cruz Del Condor). It was a 4-hour bus ride to Chivay but well before there we stopped for and photographed several times llamas, alpacas, and vicunas. At times we were able to get up close and personal with them before they jogged away. 

Group shot with the vicunas behind

Helen's 2 pics above and below

            We stopped a rest stop restaurant for coca tea just in case of problems with the elevation. We reached an elevation of 16,222 feet (4886m) at the Mirador de los Volcanes where we stopped to take pictures. (Some people asked me if I was not too cold in just a tee shirt. My response was—I’m from Michigan, el norte in EE.UU.) Here we were surrounded by sometimes active volcanoes.

4886m = 16,222 feet

             Once over the pass we stopped for our boxed lunch before continuing on to Chivay, the entry point into the Canon del Colca. Here we stopped for perhaps 30 minutes before continuing on to thermal baths where we had a relaxing 60-minute soak (La Calera Hot Springs). Actually 60 minutes without leaving the pool is too much, but I left too totally relaxed and then had to climb back up above the river to the bus. 

Box Lunch Break before Chivay (and below 3)

Our Hot Springs Bath above and below

            Back on the bus we got onto the Cruz Del Condor route in order to get to our hotel, Kuntur Wassi (Hotel of the Condor at 11,000 feet) in the village of Cabanaconde for the evening (elev. After an excellent supper and a birthday cake to celebrate Jenna’s birthday before Sunday (since we would be hiking), we separated to spend the evening talking with our travel companions or walking through the town’s Plaza. In the morning several students mentioned waking up early due to the roosters and donkeys; therefore, I added a picture that donkeys were pastured just outside our hotel which actually was a country comfort to me. 

The town

The donkeys

A chapel on top with snowy mountains behind
            On Sunday, we just had to travel a few miles for breakfast and the first Mirador (lookout point at 12,200 feet) for the condors. We later went to another Mirador (at 12,600 feet) for the condor where we also had Sunday devotions (I hope to add video) and additional time to watch for the condors. At each stopping point the students aided the economy of Peru by purchasing alpaca sweaters etc. (for family members).
Giving "thanks" through a devotional (above and below)

El Condor Pasa

Group Shot

Group shot from Kayla

By the first Mirador

Another group shot

Condors above and below shots.

View from the Mirador

Helping Peru's economy by buying treasures here for family or friends (or self)

Shots of the students above and below

            At one Mirador, I took a few shots of a group of four girls taking “selfies” with a camera posted on a hiking pole in order to take all four of them on one shot. “Times are a changing.”  

The "selfie" shots above and below.

            Before reaching Chivay and above the river, we had a boxed lunch prepared for us by the Kuntur Wassi Hotel. Here Profe practiced her knowledge of the Quechua language much to the delight of the local people. She should have “Quechua” somewhere on her C.V. Then it was back up to 16,000 feet where we did encounter a snowfall, but since most of us are from Michigan, we had no interest in a snowball fight, and continued onto sunnier and warmer Arequipa.   

            Two of the pics with me included were provided by Helen and a group shot with me on it in the Colca Canyon was provided by Kayla.
            Travel arrangements were again made by our friend and associate Katia Zegarra Castaneda.
Paz y Shalom, Neal Bierling