A breath of fresh air
03.10.2008 - 05.10.2008
Aha! I am almost caught up on my travel blog now. Thank goodness! It´s been harder than I thought to find decent internet, and more importantly, time down here.
So we arrived in Arequipa late at night, found a taxi to take us to our hotel, checked in, and passed out in the most comfortable beds of the trip. We are staying at Hostal Solar, which is gorgeous! Many of the buildings here in Arequipa are made of a white stone called sillar I think. The town is much much much nicer than anywhere else we´ve been yet, with street lights, nice cars, happy people, and beautiful volcanoes looming over town. It just seems to be a happier place in general, which I suppose makes sense, since it is mainly Spanish and less Peruvian in composition. My book says that Arequipa has even talked about secession because it feels so different from the rest of the country. That doesn´t surprise me that much.
Yesterday morning Laura was still feeling pretty sick, so we took it easy in the morning, taking our time getting ready to go and explore. The plaza de armas in Arequipa is the most beautiful of all the cities in Peru. It has large palm trees and lots of beautiful architecture. I took some good pics of it at night. We went and ate lunch at Mixsos, a cute little restaurant behind the cathedral with rooftop views. I promptly knocked over a glass and cut my finger. Then I ordered an avacado stuffed with chicken, which was pretty yummy. Then we went and spent most of the afternoon at the Monestary de Santa Catalina (i´m quite sure I´m not spelling that right but I don´t care right now), which really is like a city within a city. It was amazingly beautiful and we took tons and tons of pictures. I´m excited to post them.
Then we went for a "tour" of the Catedral on the Plaza, which really just amounted to walking inside, being quite uncomfortable because there were some sort of services going on, walking around a little, then leaving. Then we went to have some cocoa at (insert name here when I look it up). It was DELICIOUS, and I also got some strawberry shortcake which I will remember for the rest of my life. Seriously.
One thing I´m definitely noticing here is that although the men are still pretty forward about things, it´s actually flattering and not offensive. One guy said just one word to me when I walked by: "beautiful". How can you be offended by that? Anyway, then we went back to our hotel and tried to make sure our tour of the Colca Canyon was confirmed for today, the 5th. And even though the guy there didn´t speak any English, we were pretty sure we were okay.
However, when we got up this morning and got ready, we found out that there was no tour for us. We have the emails saying it was confirmed and reserved, but the hotel owners claimed not to know anything about it. They tried to say it was our fault, which is absolutely is not. I´m a little disappointed because I wanted to really like our hotel, but its so unprofessional to blame something like this one the customer. Mistakes happen, but come on, just own up to it and try to fix it. So now we have to try and figure out how to still get to see the canyon with our limited time left in Arequipa. Not sure we will be able to do it, and of course everything is closed today because it´s Sunday, so we can´t even talk to anyone about it. So we decided to go find some internet to try and look it up, and here we are. There is some sort of big parade and celebration going on today here in the Plaza, so we had to walk by tons of people lined up, including tonnnns of military people. That was an interesting walk, as I got whistled at a few times and had a couple people say things to me, but again, here its flattering and not offensive. It´s quite a strange difference since just a few days ago I was horribly uncomfortable and attempting to walk with my left ring finger visible to everyone and their dog to stop the disgustingness.
Well, so now we don´t know what we are going to do for the rest of today or tomorrow or the next day. At one point we hope to go to the museum where Juanita is, the Incan mummy they found up on one of the volcanoes around here. Supposed to be one of the most complete finds. Exciting! I don´t know when I will be able to update my blog next, so it might be awhile. After we leave Arequipa we are going to Trujillo for two days, then its off to the Amazon for 4 days where we surely will not have any internet. I´m so excited for the Amazon! Hopefully my bug-bitten legs will not have any added bites. I´m so paranoid about bugs now...
Well, wish me luck!
Lyric o´the blog:
"Blackbird singin´in the dead of night
take these broken wings and learn to fly
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to arrive."