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March 9, 2014 - Arequipa, Peru

We had a 10 hour bus journey to Arequipa. It was alright. We had to take an expensive bus, which we don't usually do. About 20 pounds each, which is unheard of for us. But there seemed to be no easy way around it. Anyway, the bus was incredibly smooth and very comfortable. And the loo was okay. We were going along some very bendy mountain roads and I liked the feel of the side to side movement. It made me sleep. Good job the loo had a grab rail in it though. I am glad I am not a bloke. How one balances and aims at the same time I have no idea. And no wish to find out.

Arequipa is in the mountains and much cooler. That´s nice for my skin. There is a lovely fresh breeze even when the sun is shining brightly. I have noticed the altitude, in that I get slightly dizzy and breathless. At least, I did. I have acclimatised now.

You could spend days and days just looking around Arequipa, as it's a really big city. You can get full meals here for a pound and a bit. Or less. Vince and I generally share one, so we are eating really cheaply here. Usual meal would be something like soup with everything chucked in - potatoes, sweetcorn, meat (often mutton), beans, pasta. Followed by meat with rice and chips or potatoes with cheese or noodles. It varies. We haven`t tried guinea pig yet. It's pretty expensive.

We have a lovely room. It is in one of the colonial houses. We got a discount when we said we were gong to look at a couple more rooms before deciding. I think we are a bit out of season so hoteliers really want the business. The hot water supply is a bit intermittent but worth it in general for the room. And we get breakfast included. All for a tenner a night.

This is a university town so there are many laundries. That is about 60 pence per kilo.

We went on a great free tour yeaterday. The guide was really helpful and we got into lots of places for free, with recommendations for further free or very cheap museums. There were tiny tastings too. Queso Helado - cheese ice cream. Not really cheese, but using the same process with the milk. Vince loves it, although it is too sweet for me. But I like the cinnamon taste. They use loads of cinnamon and aniseed around here. We also got to taste cerviche (me) - pickled raw fish - and soft cheese and olives (Vince). And some really excellent local coffee. The guides work on a tips-only basis. We tipped reasonably as the guide was very generous with his time.

We actually went out for a few drinks at Happy Hour yesterday evening. Eight drinks (4 each) for around 8 pounds. And some of those were doubles. Might do it again tonight. Not to would be churlish.

We have walked loads today. First to a viewpoint which was clouded over. Then to a church museum which was shut. I very much enjoyed all the walking around though. Stupidly I overindulged in chicha at lunchtime. It is a drink which is most often made from maize. It can be alcoholic. But the stuff we had wasn't. Unfortunately I drank far too much of it. With disastrous consequences. Had to walk very quickly back to our hosteleria. All is fine again now though. Serves me right. And Vince seems to be better too, stomach wise.

Whisper it, but he is looking at the photos we have taken so far. He might even download some to the blog. The internet in the cafe we are in is very fast, so you never know. And only around 20 pence an hour. Actually, he has just been moaning that he has lost all the photos and  has to start downloading them again. So there's a lot of huffing, puffing and general moaning going on. I know better than to laugh out loud. Am doing it inside though. Curmudgeonly? Vince? I DON'T BELIEVE IT!

 

Vince read quite a funny review of one of the places we stayed in. We liked it. It was in Lima. Someone said the hotel staff were friendly but Spanish speaking. Well, as Vince said, what did they expect?!!!

Graham, when are you thinking of visiting South America? If we are in England before you go, we will meet up in Peterborough and swap notes if you like.

Photos here


Pictures

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4 Comments

Graham J:
March 9, 2014
I don't intend to sample guinea pig if I visit Peru, particularly if it is expensive! I am thinking of going in April if things still seem hopeless in Peterborough then. Perhaps I could meet you in Lima.
Sally:
March 9, 2014
guinea pig is expensive and mostly bone, frankly not worth the money - soltado is much better. Your trip is bringing back happy memories of our time there so thanks for the walk down memory lane. Sally xxxxx
Rose:
March 11, 2014
Brilliant photos - was there anyone sand surfing down the sand hills? Spring has arrived here, I can tell because my glasses have misted up and the cat's gone mad

xx
Sarah:
March 15, 2014
Hello - have loved reading your diaries....and thanks for the pics....sounds like you are having a lot of fun! Spring has sprung here..lots of nodding daffodils in the breeze....and frogs making lots of spawn in the pond! We introduced four gold fish to their new home this morning....hoping they do well. Cheers xxxx
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