From Arequipa the bus winds through valleys and hamlets. We drove through a blizzard, and we passed a local festival that looked so fun I was tempted to jump out and stay, but the destination at the end of the long road was Cabanaconde, a picturesque rural village nestling in the Colca Canyon. After a couple of nights here I carried on the trip solo as Justin headed back to Arequipa and I caught a bus east towards Lake Titicaca and Puno.
From the Cruz de Condor viewpoint coachloads of tourists arrive to hopefully spot a Condor, because we had travelled independently we had to luxury of being able to wait around for an hour or so whereas the tour groups only get half an hour then are back on the bus back to Arequipa (doing it all as a day trip). However it was only in the minibus back to the village that we spotted one drifting above the fields. (no picture – the camera was packed away I’m afraid!)
At dawn I ventured out towards the lush green terraced fields behind the village. After so many overcast mornings over the previous week I was amazed to see a clear sky upon drawing back the curtains, hastening out the door, (having to wake up the night porter to escape the hotel as usual on these dawn patrols) I was looking to use the telephoto and get in tight on the terraced, green fields.