I travelled to Arequipa (southern Peru) in 1998.
My favourite stop was at the Colca Canyon. This canyon is reportedly the deepest in the world and thought to be twice as deep as the Grand Canyon in the USA! Unlike most of the Grand Canyon, portions of the Colca canyon are habitable, with pre-Colombian terraced fields supporting agriculture up to this date.
There's a mandatory stop for all travellers at 'Cruz del Condor' (Condor's Cross), have you guessed what you can find there? ;)
Andean condors. The condor population of South America is unfortunately dwindling, but in the Colca Canyon, visitors can see them at fairly close range. I did, ten years ago.
I remember the place was crowded, some young people were loud and annoying, but finally got quiet when the first condors appeared. SILENCE. I remeber a couple of them flying like if they were suspended by a thread, magestic, huge, and I could see them... from above!
I'll try to find some of the old pics I wrote about in my previous post, 'film' ones, VERY poor quality, far and blury, but precious memories of an espectacular place.
My sister went to Arequipa last weekend, she works in tourism and had to go for an 'inspection' of services... Work or pleasure? I sooo wanted to jump in her bag and visit such place again, but I couldn't, bag was too small (stupid thing! grrr)
She brought something for my mother: a set of table mats. Yes. The ones you see here. There are hand made by women from the Colca Canyon. Ethnias such as the Coyaguas and Cabanas have been doing it for centuries. The lucky ones work with old machines, but most traditional pieces are hand stitched. The work is not perfect, and that's what makes these handcrafts so precious.
Like their mothers and grandmothers, women from those villages or valleys pay attention to their surroundings and make flora and fauna the main characters of their lovely artworks.
My sister brought back a little piece of it, she picked 'birds', and personally, I think she made a good choice (Looove the hummingbirds!!!)