The next morning, we were up early as the tour to the Colca Canyon with a goal to see the Condors, although they are rare at this time of the year due to inclement weather and changes in their eating habits. We had expressly requested a small group so that we wouldn´t be subjected to the crowds one finds on large buses. What we did not count on was that a small group also means a small bus. This is not a huge challenge for me, but for Paul's tall frame, it was most uncomfortable.
We took a very windy road 160 kilometers and were treated to spectacular scenery along the way.
Within the first 30 minutes or so our guide started to lecture us about safeguards against....altitude sickness...as we were on our way through a high mountain pass. I had wondered why my head was aching so badly!!! We then learned that the mountain pass took us up to 4,950 metres above sea level. Oh No!!! Worse still, the city we were staying in, Chivay, is at 3,660 meters...higher than Cusco. We stocked up on coca products and drank a lot of water, but needless to say, our health suffered and we both admitted that the day had been difficult one by the time it ended with a supper at a local restaurant specializing in native dance. We fell into bed looking forward to a 6:15 pick up the next morning, where we were to go higher still...up to 3,800 metres.