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Friday, October 3, 2014

Day 527 Friday October 3, 2014

The adventure has departed Cusco and the next stop was Chivay to visit the Colca Canyon and to see the Andean Condor. Colca Canyon is a canyon of the Colca River in southern Peru, located about 100 miles (160 kilometers) northwest of Arequipa. It is Peru's third most-visited tourist destination with about 120,000 visitors annually. With a depth of 13,650 ft (4,160 m), it is more than twice as deep as the Grand Canyon in the United States. The canyon is home to the Andean Condor, a species that has been the focus of worldwide conservation efforts. The condors can be seen at close range as they fly past the canyon walls, and are a popular attraction. 'Cruz del Condor' is a popular tourist stop to view the condors. At this point the canyon floor is 3,960 feet (1,200 m) below the rim of the canyon.

The ride from Cusco to Chivay was over eight hours and for the most part was on unsealed roads. I was above 16,000 ft. (4800 m) several times and was in and out of sleet and light snow for several hours. The temperature did not drop below 45f (7c) and of course the ice was not sticking to the road.  My first evening in Chivay there were thunderstorms and it was still raining when I fell asleep. The next morning the surrounding mountains were covered with fresh snow. It was quite a site.

Some photos of the ride from Cusco to Chivay.

This is where I stopped to put on some warmer gear.

The next morning I went exploring for the condor. I looked high and low.

An interesting hawk...but no condor.

Later that afternoon I found where to see the allusive condor and I would return in the morning.

The next morning I was right where I was supposed to be at 8am and moments later the show began. The Andean condor is a South American bird in the New World vulture family Cathartidae and is the only member of the genus Vultur. Found in the Andes mountains and adjacent Pacific coasts of western South America, the Andean condor has a wingspan of up to 3.2 m/10.5 ft.

After seeing the Andean Condor on Wednesday I left Chivay and rode to Arequipa where I planned to stay for a few days to a week. When I got into the central district of Arequipa and began looking for a hotel the shifter on the motorbike broke again. I immediately called Pipe at Triumph Peru in Lima and within a few minutes decided to ship the bike back to Lima for repairs. Pipe arranged for a shipping company to bring the bike to Lima and I would catch the bus to Lima. In less than three hours the bike was at the freight depot and I was on the 3:30 bus to Lima. It was a 16 hour bus ride...we watched three Hollywood movies (no English sub titles), I sat on the upper level in seat 01 and we were served two meals dinner and breakfast. I slept well and the ride did not seem that long. The trip was 1050 km, over 600 miles. I was at the freight depot in Lima at 2pm this afternoon to claim the bike. Pipe had arranged for a tow truck to take me and the moto to the Triumph repair shop. Everything came off without a hitch.

Packing up the bike in Arequipa.

Picking it up in Lima.

More will be revealed...

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