Rest days in Chivay, and the mighty condor

It was time to enjoy our last chance of being in a tourist town. Chivay is the same population as Wanaka but much more compact. No supermarket but a central shopping area of many small stalls, selling everything from veges to plastic containers to tourist paraphernalia. No post office, in fact no postal facilities in any towns apart from the major cities. The dead Kindle is going to get a free ride for many more miles yet.

We zoned in on our favourite street food stall, large fried potato balls stuffed with veges and served with mayo and beetroot salad. We brought business to the lady when tourists saw us eating there they joined in. We also kept returning to the same restaurant, sucked in initially by wifi and lemon meringue pie, but returned for the tasty and generous servings of all the food we chose.

The town is very clean and has amazing, colourful, larger than life sculptures everywhere. On Sunday we witnessed the school kids taking part in the weekly ‘Viva la Peru’ parade and speeches. We felt sorry for the children standing for hours in the hot sun.

Our second day we we were tourists to the Cruce del Condor, a place high above the Colca river where the condors soar for a couple of hours, catching thermals to get them high enough to clear the canyon walls for the day. it was amazing, we had a good tour guide who spoke in English and Spanish. On previous trips we have seen the condor but only high above us looking for the remains of cyclists who haven’t made it – joke, Mum. Today we saw them at all levels. My little camera did not do them justice.

We plan to head away tomorrow and who knows when our next internet connection will be..hasta luego

El centro commercial – the local mall


Our hostal street in Chivay


Alan finding out from a local where the laundry place is!


Harvest dancer


Sunday parade with the school kids and Sunday best


The plaza with church and cross on the hill behind


Jo joins the dance with the local school kids for donations for their school


The adult condor in black with a white collar. They are scavengers not predators. Their wing span is three metre, weigh 15kg and standing height is 1.2m. They live for 50 years. On cloudy days they get to sleep in as there are not the thermals to get them out of the canyon


The brown juvenile – changes colour after 6 or so years


Connie doing a fly past of a small portion of the crowd


Soaring above the Cruce del Condor


And you too can have a falcon on your head for a donation


The terraced fields of the Colca Canyon