This update will take us to Arequipa and Nasca in Peru.
Arequipa is desert – for the rest of our time in Peru we didn’t see greenery, just sand dunes and hot sun (and a little bit of snow – but more on that later). Interestingly, both Kris and I liked Arequipa and it had a lot of interesting things in it. However, we both preferred Cusco (even though it was cold). It would be interesting to return to Peru and travel the North as opposed to the South like we did this time.
Arequipa has the famous Colca Canyon which we did a tour of and we were lucky enough to see the condors flying. We went at the wrong time of year so it was very lucky. The canyon itself is the deepest in the world and it was magnificent. Our day trip to Colca Canyon started with a 2am wake up call. As we were driving we drive past some pretty tall mountains and volcanoes and since this is the cold part of the year in this part of the country it meant that we saw snow!
After a few hours of driving we arrived at Colca Valley (which then turns into Colca Canyon).
There were so many terraces and because of the depth of the Valley and Canyon they have many vertical micro climates that allow them to grow various crops, including tropical crops such as avocados.
Once we reached the Condor viewing point we saw the condors flying. They are the second largest bird (second to the wandering albatross) and can weigh up to 15kg and reach a wingspan of about 3.1m.
When we finished here we stopped in one of the small towns and we got to hold an eagle (very well looked after and treated very well).
We also walked over a rope/wood bridge which could only hold two people at a time and Kris (obviously) shook it so it was difficult to walk on it.
We also followed a man on a horse who was throwing candy while wearing a costume. We are not sure what the was representing but there was music, a big crowd and we got some candy!
We also saw some mummies (not technically correct, because they are human remains that are frozen rather than mummies). Very interesting history of human sacrifice and learnt about that and saw one of the finds (still frozen and kept at -20degrees for preservation).
Nasca was a lot smaller and we walked the town in about 30 minutes. The main attraction here was the Nasca lines which we saw from a small plane.
At the end the trip was a success — I felt sick but managed not to vomit (yay!) and we got to see 12 of the most clear and famous lines including the hummingbird! Very exciting and absolutely worth it, other than that there is nothing else in Nasca.
There are two more places to update about in Peru which I will do at some point.
p.s. we are loving Brazil right now 🙂