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Arequipa to Colca Canyon

Our next stop was Arequipa, where we were assigned a new guide, Isabel, and on to Colca Canyon. The canyon is home to a flock of condors. Along with a hundred or so other tourists, we waited in vain for over three hours in hope of seeing these massive carrion eaters and never did see any except for one small one way off. I think they are a myth! During the long drive on a bumpy, rough, potholed road our driver spent most of the time on the left (wrong) side of the road "in order to make the ride as smooth as possible" and minimize wear on the vehicle. He did the same thing on the way back (??). Our lodging was at a new facility called El Refugio. It included a natural hot spring. The management seemed unconcerned when I found a scorpion in my suitcase. It was a small one anyway, and they were on a first-name basis with him. Our guide told us that there are lots of problems with alcohol abuse. The men drink, and the women work. I should be so lucky!

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