Rest and relaxation in Arequipa
Trip Start Dec 30, 2010
84Trip End Jul 06, 2011
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I was expecting to arrive in Arequipa around 7am, seeing as that would be 15 hours from 4pm the previous day. But, we're still driving, stuck behind a truck I think. Turning to my left, is the amazing Colca Canyon. Just picture dry rocks, desert like roads, dust, sand, no green, no water and then suddenly in this canyon is luscious green fields, a river running through the middle and pastures of crops. Outstanding!! I grab a few pictures but they are tinted by the bus window.
We arrive in Arequipa after 17.5 hours of sitting on my butt. No stops either, well except for the bus drivers to swap places. Before the journey started in fact, the drivers were filmed breathing into a breathalyzer, so I assume they passed in order to drive.
My hostel has moved from when the lonely planet published the guide book. It used to be in the centre but is now on the outskirts. I'm in two minds about this, do I really want to be so far away? Anyway, the hostel was the poshest hostel I have ever stayed in. I was shown the tour, huge TV upstairs, super huge TV downstairs, another TV for playstation, a large kitchen, coffee and tea all day, a patio, a pool, DVDs to watch, pool table, ping pong. Very posh. I asked why they moved and it was in part down to a better property but also a safer location. I opt for a single room, I'm exhausted and sleep from 10am to 5pm. I know, lazy man, but I didn't get the best night sleep on the bus.
I made the conscious decision to not undertake any activities or tours in Arequipa. I'm about to head to Puno and Lake Titicaca, so will undertake a day tour there, so two days in Arequipa will be to relax and rest, but of course, to also explore the town.
I headed into town for dinner. I was firstly going to walk but where the map provided was not detailed enough, I gave up walking and jumped into a taxi. I was given a list of four taxi names to use, and to only get in a taxi that has a radio. There are taxi's that will take Gringo's to ATMs and demand heavy withdrawals. I've picked out a local pizza joint, famous for the way they cook their pizza, but taxi driver has no idea where it is, so I ask for the Plaza.
I find my pizza place, they've changed names but it turned out to be a very tasty pizza. I'm pleased to have satisfied that craving, I grab a small Cusquena beer as well.
Before I head back to the hostel, I enjoy Arequipa at night, stunning architecture, just like in Quito.
Miles walked 0.57
Temp 22 C 71 F
Day 19 January 22nd - I wake feeling strange. My belly is making all sorts of weird noises. I'm on the top floor of the hostel, roof top view, but there is another room next to me. They arrive at 6am and spend an hour in the bathroom, chatting, crying, who knows. All I know is, that I will need the bathroom soon!!
After a couple of visits to said bathroom, I decide on a very relaxed and easy going morning. I grab a cup of tea downstairs and start talking to a beautiful girl from California, she said her name far too quickly for me to pick it up. She's on a 3 month tour of Peru, but got sick before she left, so has been taking it easy herself. We discuss our own philosophies on travel and she was extremely fun and pleasant to talk to. She and a few others had been out till 3am drinking Piscos so she was off to sleep. I drop onto the sofa and have Wolves v Liverpool on the box.
A lad from England, Alex, sits on the sofa just as Arsenal v Wigan is starting. Turns out he spent 7 months living in Banff (near my brother Pete) played 2nd row in a local rugby team and he and two guys from Australia bought a car in Canada and at the moment it's being driven through Guatemala. He left them in Mexico but will rejoin them for the carnival in Rio in March. A good lad, did a lot of bar work in his hometown Preston to support this travels. A very friendly guy and the next 4 hours consisted of football and travel chat.
Once we finished watching Villa beat Man City, I felt well enough to pop out into Arequipa and explore the city in more depth. Firstly, I wanted to get some food inside me. For some reason, I chose a place for specifically something on their menu, but after a quick chat with a lady, ended up agreeing to the set lunch menu. It was cheap and delicious. Some soup followed by chicken and rice with some lime juice for a drink. The belly seemed to be able to handle it, so great!
I did spend a couple of hours exploring Arequipa, but for some reason I was feeling quite low. Whether it was feeling a little unwell, the altitude or whatever, I didn't enjoy exploring as much as I normally did. I settled for a stupidly delicious chocolate Sundae to cheer myself up.
I bought some noodles to take back to the Hostel for dinner seeing as they had a kitchen. I did spend two minutes eyeing up a cooked chicken. My mind drifted, would I really sneak it up to my room and eat the whole thing?? I settled for some basic noodles.
Back at the hostel, Alex was watching some South American football, a couple from Finland had just arrived, another couple from the UK were chatting away on the sofas, the girl was nursing a bruised knee from falling out of a bus. There was also a couple of Spanish girls and the evening was a good atmosphere of chatting, relaxing, eating my noodles and watching Alex eat his $2 steak from the local supermarket.
More chat continued on Rugby, films, more football, and places in the UK.
In the end, I really enjoyed having a couple of days to relax, let my body heal from Easter Island and catch up on some football.
I went to bed reasonably early for a 830am bus to Puno the next day.
Miles walked 1.13
Temp 22 C 71F
My Review Of The Place I Stayed