01.28.2013 - 01.30.2013
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I am realizing that to cover everything I experience in each day here would take 3 in itself.
I am learning that changing location is difficult. Yesterday after a 16.5 hour busride and little sleep, my first impressions of Arequipa did not meet my grand expectations for this white city nestled between 3 volcanoes. It was noisier, dirtier and more sprawled than expected and much bigger (1 million people versus 250 thousand). Yesterday, the hostel my friend and I chose was deserted and the staff mentioned it was the offseason and people prefer the beach here.
After a good night sleep, today was awesome and my impression of Arequipa significantly improved. It is the people that make a trip worthwhile and I am noticing that meeting and sharing experiences with people is the key. Today I went on a tour which brough us around to some interesting sites of the city. There are some beautiful spots that include great viewpoints of the surrounding area, historic farms and mills, and other nice squares outside of the city center. My friend and I met up with people from Spain and different part of Peru on the tour and we ate and hung out most of the day after the tour. I also ate cui or guinea pig today. I told you all I'd do it! It was good and yes weird. They give you the whole thing!
The next few days will be a trek to Colca Canyon including a few nights of camping.
On an administrative note, I am adding comments to the photos. Someone let me know if you cannot get to them.
My hostel in Arequipa
The Chachani volcano (19,872) from my hostel's terrace
A church in Arequipa
I went into this restauraunt and asked for a menu and theyu brought me a bowl of soup. Apparently menu is what they call the traditional 2 course meal in Peru. The first portuion is soup and the second the main dish.
Arequipa at night
Plaza de Armas at night
This was at Mirador de Carmen Alto, a viewpoint for the city and its 3 volcanoes.
Our tour today stopped at a mansion in Arequipa where there were animals and this woman was allowing people to interact with a falcon.
Some types of animal in the llama family (alpaca, vicuña, guanaco) are territorial and they spit at you. One of them here did!
Finally the sun came out to reveal it had snowed quite a bit on top of El Misti, a 19000 foot high volcano that is one of three surrounding the city.
I ordered cui or guinea pig and it came in tact. I ate just the meat but someone else discted it in search of a bone that is supposed to be part of a tradition. The bone is behind the ear and is tiny and shaped like a sorito or little fox
Me on public transit in Arequipa. Buses come in all shapes and sizes in South America. It is best to ask the bus driver or cashier where it is going or take it with the help of a local.