White Doesn't Always Stand for Innocence (by KCT)

Trip Start Aug 11, 2009
Trip End Feb 19, 2010

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Flag of Peru  ,
Thursday, October 22, 2009

The city of Arequipa stands in a beautiful valley, guarded by snowcapped mountains, and has fine colonial-era Spanish buildings and many old and interesting churches built of sillar, a pearly white volcanic material, from which it gets the nickname La Ciudad Blanca – "The White City".

This is the information which is given in all guide books. Sounds like a place a backpacker wants to go to chill and relax after a massive trekking tour to Machu Picchu, doesn't it? No sooner said than done! When Mihai and I arrived in Arequipa at dawn, we checked into a very charming hostel where we were welcomed with a nice breakfast buffet in a patio. After a long ride on a night bus, it seemed perfect to us! And if that wasn't enough, it turned out that we were the only customers at that place which meant we could not only enjoy the breakfast on that wonderful sunny morning by ourselves but also use the free internet as long as we wanted to and had a big dorm for just the two of us.

But like all other moments a perfect moment has its end. It ended when I was looking for my cell phone. "Where did I put it in the backpack?" I wondered and then I noticed that my iPod and money was also missing. I closed my eyes, films of scenes of the last couple hours rushed through my head, and in all the memories I pictured I found myself holding onto my backpack the entire time. On the night bus, at the check-in, during breakfast and when I used the internet. I must have been holding to my bag the entire time as there is the imaginary blinking sign of warning always in my head since Mihai got robbed in Bolivia about a month ago.

But unfortunately people sometimes ignore their instincts and so did I that morning. For about 15 minutes. I went to the restrooms, chatted with Mihai for a little while and I left my bag unattended on my bed in the big empty dorm. We were sure that I must have been stolen by the staff as there weren’t any other people. And dubiously, that guy who worked at the reception that day didn’t work there anymore the next days. He was supposedly on vacation. However, the police could only record the case and that’s it – the end of the story of the beautiful white city. Shit happens.

The only thing I could do to forget my stupidity and the resulting troubles (no SIM > no mobile tans > no online banking > illiquidity) was riding on a river going through rocks and vertical cliffsides in a tiny rubber boat. Yes, white-water-rafting! :)
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starlagurl on

Aw, sorry to hear about your bag being stolen.

At TravelPod we have a "help a blogger out" fund. If you'd like a piece of it to help replace your bag, please email me at louiseb@travelpod.com

Louise Brown
TravelPod Community Manager

kctmapg on

Thanks a lot for the tip! But I think I was quite lucky in a unlucky situation as nothing really bad like credit cards etc. got stolen. Well, as we are still on travel: Touch wood!!

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