In the last proper 'travel' blog post we left off as I arrived in Arequipa. Arequipa is a lovely city with white buildings, the usual colonial out posts and surrounded by snow capped volcanoes. On my first proper day I took in the main city sites, the Cathedral, Santa Catalina Monastery and Juanita. Juanita is a frozen five hundred year old 13 year old girl who was sacrificed to the angry volcanic mountain god in a bid to appease him. This museum itself was rather interesting, the Cathedral a bit dull and Santa Catalina too expensive... none the less I enjoyed my city tour. In the evening I watched Peru get beaten by Chile in the football in my old haunt (a point hostel) and decided to move hostels... you can't really argue with £4 a night over £8, a bar and like minded individuals.
|Taxi's in the road|
|Protest outside the Cathedral|
|Bikes and Volcano|
|Pegunias (sort of a cross between a Deer and a Llama)|
|On top of the world|
|Fully Equipped & Volcano|
Lunch finished we rest in town and the hotel before being whisked off to some lovely hot hot springs. Dinner was a traditional affair complete with dancing. I made friends with the two Peruvians opposite, next to me and the Irish couple and vehemently opposed being dragged off to dance with the dancers. We went out that night but somehow in between the bus ride and the bar Lourdes lost her Camera. This had two effects - I became official Photographer for her and her friend and much rum was drank. The hotel had a curfew of 11:30 which we of course missed.
|Traditional Dress and Llama|
|A bird on my head|
|Lourdes with the Falcon|
|Condor in Flight|
|Some of the Colca Cre|
Sunday being a quiet day I ate some more weird peruvian food 'Helado Queso' which roughly translates as 'Frozen Cheese' and went to the Cinema before catching my night bus to Ica. Turns out the two English girls I went Moutain Biking with were also on this bus. In Ica we decided to head straight to Huacachina and find a hostel. Huachachina is a small town near to Ica surrounded by massive sand dunes and an Oasis. The Guide describes it as a'exotic resort'. It comprises a few restaurants and hostels. Our hostel was a nice affair complete with pool, nightclub and bbq. The main draw to Huachachina is the sand dunes, which are used for high octane activities such as dune buggying and sand boarding. However before this we tried the other regional activity.... Wine tasting. We tried everything from White to Rose and Pisco. Pisco is similar to Baijou, the guide says the closest thing is Tequila... this is crap. Baijou! Anyway it tastes ok in a cocktail but straight.... no thank you. Returning to the hostel for all you can eat and drink bbq was fun, I met probably the largest amount of consolidated English people so far... we tried the club but it was so massive and yet empty (it was monday) I gave up.
|Hostel, Club and Sand Dune|
Ballestos Island was nice, lots and lots of birds. I even saw some penguins and plenty of Sea Lions. I am now in Paracas, the sun is out and my bus is only an hour away before I return to Lima. Are limited photos of the end, as I have not uploaded yet and I have none of Sand Boarding... yet. But I have put the missing ones from the last blog up so in the meantime enjoy that.
|Pelicans in flight|
|Yet More Pelicans|