Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Flight of the condor


You looking at me?

Frankenstein squirrel

The highlight of our recent two day excursion to Colca Canyon was seeing condors up close and personal. These magnificent birds with a wingspan of up to 3m are carrion eaters, but that didn't stop me going into paroxysms of delight at seeing them so close. Our guide told us that condors are Inca totems. When they die, they don't go easily - none of this drifting off on a cold night, they crash spectacularly. The guide said he'd seen two condors go kamikaze, and given the size of them, it would certainly be a pretty quick way to check out. p.s, Phil took the second photo.
On this canyon trip we were also priveleged to see the once-endangered vicunas, plus many herds of gorgeous alpacas and llamas. Such cute animals, with dainty little feet, big eyes and eyelashes ... but like most beautiful divas that probably means they have the temper of a cranky camel. We also saw a very strange creature whose name escapes me but looks exactly as if some mad scientist grafted the front of a rabbit onto the bottom of a squirrel. Good eating on them though, our guide said!
And special bird-watching award to Phil, who spotted (and even got excited about) a hummingbird, a flock of fluorescent green parrots and another feathered thing that makes its nest from the spines of cacti - talk about inviting trouble.


BSharp said...

I think that animal is a Cui or a Coati! I am writhing with jealousy over here - and would love to be back in South America.

Che! boludos, quiero ir al camino inca contigos. Disfrutalo.

Bianca Nogrady said...

Thanks Shorty! Very impressed with the Spanish - just wish I knew what it meant. My spanish is limited to the ultra basic, although pleased to say my vocab is expanding.