Our next stop is Cruz del Condor, so called for obvious reasons: there’s lots of Condors. Despite the crowds of cameras attached to tourists’ faces, this place is special. Even in the cliff-lined valleys of Patagonia a Condor sighting was rare, a moment of gliding beauty silhouetted against the sky and then gone, disappeared down into the depths or round some corner.
But here, here the Condors come in twos and threes and fours, sometimes playing for the crowds, sometimes sitting on a rock ledge and puffing up their chests for the cameras, sometimes soaring right there, almost within reach, blocking out the sun and caressing the sky with their finger-like wings. They are so close I can see their ugly vulture heads and the distinctive white collar. I remember someone once being described as a BOBFOC: Body Off Baywatch, Face Off Crimewatch. The Condor must be the bird kingdom’s equivalent.
(Apparently in the States they say Butterface, as in ‘everything but her face’ which is rather good, except that it’s sexist (there’s no Buthisface) and it casts butter in a negative light, which should be against the law as a form of hate speech.)