Air in Arequipa
Trip Start Jan 04, 2010
18Trip End Mar 23, 2010
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Where I stayed
El Pasado de Castillo
So, in an attempt to escape the rain and equally important, the altitude, we decided to skip Lake Titicaca and make our way to the dryer and more oxygen-rich city of Arequipa. We decided to treat ourselves and puchased a firstclass bus ticket for the ten hour overnight trip (still only $40). However, despite the almost fully-reclinable plush leather seats the ride was far from pleasant. The road from Cusco to Arequipa resembled a very bumpy dirt path more than a highway connecting two of Peru's largest cities
We arrived in Arequipa at 6:30 and were lucky to check-in right away to our inn (a really cool place in an old Peruvian mansion run by a Dutch guy and his Peruvian wife). They even gave us breakfast, which was soooo nice after such a long bus ride.
After some rest we headed out to see the city. Our firt impression was its incredible natural beauty. The city rests in a bowl surrounded by what looks like a volcano and snow-capped mountains that rise to over 6000 m. With respect to the city itself, it feels a lot more modern and European than both Lima and Cuscu. We spent most of the day walking the streets of the city centre but didn't have the desire to go into any of the tourist attractions. What stood out the most about Arequipa the was how friendly everyone was.
Despite our enjoyment of the city we are now shopping around for another adventure into the Andes. Its amazing how quickly you forget how bad you felt in the high altitude once you get back down to an oxygen-rich environment. Or maybe we like the pain!!?? Anyway, we'll let you know about our decision in our next entry. The only thing that is certain is that our intended route through South America is changing fast.