17.10.2013 15 °C
The last couple of days have been mainly travelling. We visited colca canyon yesterday to see the condors when the sun came up. We left at 6am and drove up through the side of a mountain, through a tunnel where apparently the locals don't like to go because it is so dark and they believe trolls may live there! We got up to the canyons viewpoint at eight, and within fifteen minutes saw condors flying quite close to us. They were huge black and white birds that we were told eat carcasses of other animals. They are more scroungers than hunters. The view was picturesque, and some of the mountains were so close to the clouds that you could see the clouds shadow on the peak.. We took a walk along the track beside the canyon for half an hour then went back to the coach. The weather was really cold but sunny. Later that day, we went past a town where two locals were offering tourists pictures with eagles and a llama. We were told that these eagles are captured as chicks, their wings are clipped so that they cannot fly, and their feet are tied to their captors with rope so that they are forced to so this all day. They work every day and would never survive in the wild after this cruelty. I was disgusted as people walked up to have their picture taken with these birds which are forced to climb on them over and over. It is absolutely shocking and I think something should be do ego make people ore aware of how irresponsible it is to support these heartless people who exploit their wildlife.
The afternoon was better as we went to the hot springs, which look like swimming pools. The first spring is 80 degrees, but filters down into several other pools at varying temperatures between around 25-40 degrees Celsius. Our pool was pool number five, and surrounded by mountains and chilly winds we stripped off to our swimwear and slipped into the 38 degree water. It felt amazing! After travelling and living in a tiny flat with unreliable showers which have tepid water on a good day, it was like being in a hot bath. We all really enjoyed it, and to make things better we were offered beers at the poolside. So we sat drinking and boiling for an hour before we went back to the hotel feeling really relaxed. I would definitely recommend these hot springs because although they are not very pretty, and don't look natural (plus there's that eggy scent of sulphur) it feels great on your muscles after a stressful journey.