4 October 2012
Andean Condors, Cruz del Condor, Canyon de Colca, Peru
It does take six hours by bus – but only six dollars – from Arequipa, Peru's second largest city, to reach the most interesting part of the Canyon de Colca, the second deepest canyon in the world (after its next door neighbour, the Cotahuasi Canyon) reaching a depth of more than 3,200 metres (twice as deep as the Grand Canyon in the US).
Cruz del Condor is the spot of the canyon where condors, nesting nearby, can be seen almost every day between dawn and 8am. It's incredibly quiet when the wind stops blowing. And suddenly, a condor appears, and then another two, or three, flying together, circling around, taking advantage of the cold and hot air currents to effortlessly drift from one side of the canyon to the other. Woosh, this is the only sound, together with the rapid bursts of my camera shutter, that can be heard, as they rush just next to my observation spots.
Some crazy facts about condors:
- have the second largest windspan after the albatros, up to 3.5 metres
- live up to 50 years, one condor apparently died at age 100 in 2007
- can live a few days without eating, but then gorge themselves so much that they become unable to lift themselves off the ground
And of course :)
And one more bonus for those born at the end of the 70s or early 80s, who will fondly remember The Mysterious Cities of Gold (the synthesizer just sounds so much like the 80s!):
I do prefer the intro song of these Japanese-French animated TV series (I never saw the beginning nor the end, argh):
And for the sake of being exhaustive, here is the Japanese version (which completely different tune just doesn't sound right to my ears, however much I love the Japanese!):