Tag: canyon

Sounds interesting

Sounds interesting

Peru

I don’t really have a bucket list per se. Sure, there are some places that I really want to see, but something we’ve found is that you don’t know what you don’t know.

Case in point, I’d never hear of the Colca Canyon, or the Cruz del Condòr, but researching where we might visit in Peru, I thought that sounded interesting.

Interesting is not the word for it.

This was one of the most amazing things we’ve ever experienced. We watched from the lookout over 1,200 metres above as the condors began catching the thermals, mere specks against the valley below. We were tense with expectation, totally focused on spotting them one by one as they left their nests, gliding back and forth between the canyon walls. Slowly they made their way up, up, up, until they were right there in front of us, and then mere metres above us, their huge wing span and feathery ‘fingers’ sweeping across the sky. It was absolutely incredible, and brought tears to my eyes. Like Machu Picchu, this was a real highlight of our holiday.

So perhaps what we do have is a sort of ‘post’ list of things we’ve seen and done that have left us awestruck. We may have planned them, or they were somebody’s recommendation or perhaps we never knew they existed and we just stumbled across them. We knew Machu Picchu would be a special experience, but the condors, the Nazca lines and the Neolithic cave paintings were surprise highlights.

Although I am a little worried about Don. On our final day in Lima today he downloaded his photos onto his iPad, and whilst it’s true he went overboard on condors, cave paintings and Machu Picchu, as far as I can tell, his highlights also included the car park at the Santiago markets, various power lines, people at bus stops and the desert sands around the Nazca lines but not the actual Nazca lines themselves.

Well camouflaged

Well camouflaged

Peru

We’ve just spent two days in Peru’s canyon country. Salinas Y Aguada Blanca National Reserve to see the native vicuna, alpaca and llamas, passing through small highland villages, marveling at Neolithic rock art and, the highlight, Cruz del Cóndor, at the start of Colca Canyon, where enormous majestic condors glided right in front of us.

This part of Peru is absolutely beautiful. You can trek this area. Spend days clambering up mountains and wandering throughout the valleys.

I do not trek.

Good grief, no. I like to exercise, and I like the outdoors, but the two should never cross. Quite simply I like my exercise to be over and done with quickly, and I don’t want it to be ruining any time I spend enjoying nature.

But I do get why trekking might appeal to some. Really finding a place by experiencing it up close, and the sense of accomplishment having walked through, up or over it must bring.

What I don’t get is the trekking dress code. Grey, beige, brown, and khaki seem limited options. Perhaps a pale bitumen blue or a faded watermelon for the more adventurous. I assume this is to do with blending in with the surroundings to hide from the fauna, but a fat lot of good khaki is going to do me if I take a wrong turn and have to wait for search and rescue.

On our first day in Valle del Colca I wore my bright yellow pants with tiny coloured flowers, a white shirt and my shiny silver Frankies. Sure, I looked a little different to those in beige with their hiking poles and enormous boots, but I had no intention of trekking anywhere, nor any need for camouflage.

It wasn’t until the end of the day looking back at the photos that I discovered two things:

1. Somehow I’d dressed to disappear completely into the golds and yellows of the landscape; and

2. I was perfectly coordinated with Don, who was, ironically, wearing camouflage pants.

Good grief.