Eating Alpaca in Arequipa…WHAT

9/3/13 – Arriving in Arequipa

The overnight bus journey goes smoothly apart from some grumbling, sour faced Brits and Canadians that moan rather too loudly about other passengers on the bus ūüė¶

I cannot sleep very well on these buses, so try to watch the in-house movie but its subtitled and I soon feel travel sick, so fall in and out of sleep until we arrive in Arequipa at 8.00am. Tom has located a Guest House situated in a ¬†colonial building in the old part of town, so we get a taxi for 9 soles from the bus station. The La Casa De Sillar¬†has three rooms left, one of them is damp, the other is a dorm but third time lucky and the last room is a twin room with large windows where you can view¬†El Misti¬†¬†mountain, so this seems like the obvious option ūüôā This room is 50 soles including breakfast and a rather large shared bathroom ūüôā

After freshening up and doing a laundry drop we walk around the Plaza de Armas de Arequipa to visit the Cathedral,  Museo Santuarios Andinos (Museum of Andean Sanctuaries with the Ice Maiden),  Casa del Moral, Convento Santa Teresa.  It really starts tipping it down with rain and we decide to end our day of sightseeing with a pisco sour at a bar behind the cathedral.

Walking about the town I spot a few agencies where you can book an all day tour to the Colca Canyons, so Tom and I go to investigate. After visiting a few agencies we discover they all include the same route; I am¬†hesitant¬†about doing the trip as you have to leave at 3.00am! Tom pushes me to go with the line; Why are we travelling? I give in and sign up but really I want to say that I’ve been travelling for 4 months and¬†I’m¬†tired of it and long to go home ūüė¶

10/3/13

After a small huff by me I make it out of bed at 2.30am, not so keen to do this today, tired of all day tours with people who¬†don’t¬†want to speak to you!

Half comatose we first stop for breakfast of yep, more bread and flipping jam before visiting¬†Chivay¬†which leads to the Colca valley where we spot a few condors, moving onto the¬†Inca terraces before breaking for lunch (where I try¬†Alpaca¬†meat and Chica), continuing¬†on to the hot springs (Tom and I don’t go in) before going to the highest point in near Arequipa and stopping off for a visit at a town called ¬†Maca to view a¬†Cathedral¬†and finally rounding the day off with Lama spotting.

All day our tour guide entertains us with various stories about Peruvian history, including a tale about a ceremony¬†performed¬†by the Inca whereby they tie a condor to the back of a bull and it pecks the bull! All the tourist seemed a bit shocked and disgusted by this but¬†apparently¬†it is to symbolise revenge on the Spanish who killed their people when they came over as¬†conquistadors…obviously some resentment then?

11/3/13 –¬†Lie-in = WOOP, WOOP

I could sleep for days, think I may do when we return home ūüôā

It is sort of strange now¬†I’m¬†really homesick and have been since Singapore but at the same time I want to continue travelling for a while longer, especially India, Nepal, Indonesia, Peru and other parts of South America that we¬†don’t¬†have time for¬†like¬†Bolivia,¬†Uruguay¬†and Paraguay.¬†There are too many places to visit and it would be ideal if I could combine a job and travel (which is looking to be my retirement plan,¬†methinks¬†teaching or running a b‚Äôn‚Äôb maybe in the pipeline).

After a really super breakfast (note my sarcastic tone)¬†of yet more bread and jam, we shower pack our stuff in prep for our 4 day trek. Secretly¬†I’ve¬†been regretting signing up for this since we did the walk in Chiang¬†Rai, the¬†weigh-in for the flight in Nazca shows I‚Äôm now 90kg, my physical fitness is terrible as I’ve not been running or to the gym in months and the travel diet of constant¬†restaurant¬†food means¬†I’m¬†dreading 4 heavy days of trekking and getting up at 6.00am; I want a refund and to get the train up which is what I wanted to do in the first place…GRUMP IS ON.

It’s time to book onward travel to Cusco, so we find an agent and manage to book tickets for a bus departing this evening ¬†at 8.30pm and arriving in¬†Cusco¬†at 6.30am (it’s another 10 hour bus journey of not much sleep and an aching back).

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