We arrived again in the very early morning… had the worst overnight bus since the beggining – funny thing is that we paid the most at this time. We use usually the Cruz del Sur company – its a bit more expensive than the rest but safe. Normally its ok, u get food with movie and the chairs are ok… dont know what happened this time – could not get any sleep, my neck was in pain all day and the bus was noisy. But we arrived.
Getting a taxi to the center (another Plaza de Armas) can not cost more tan 8 peso. The weather is “smoky” – the vulcans around are almost invisibles unfortunately and massive smog sitting in the city. Cars are running crazy without stop – better be very careful crossing any roads.
Arequipa is known by its white buildings – old times constructions used a “material” which called “sillar” here – a white masonry. It makes this place soooo white and bright in the middle of a dessert. The whole image is OK. Absolut developed and organized. Streets are clean and houses, hostels and restaurants are well restaurated. But do not plan here more than a day. We had 10 hours and we were strugging enough. Crossing the streets up and down, the Monastry is very interesting and beautiful… couple of nice streets and museums. Not much more. What u can do for a couple more days – get a tour to the Colca Canyon, big selection of tour operators. Just check the weather forecast.
Footnote: worst price-value lunch we had in our whole journey. I will have another post about gastro-Sud-America so i dont wanna go into very details… but just lets make one thing clear. If u do care about a good meal: dont hesitate to pay more, trust me. We ve been looking for a non-existing cheap and good and peruvian place in the center… around the Placa de Armas… please, go and walk a bit more far.
These places situated in the arcade-balcony dont even worth to metion.. all are inviting u with local food in médium range prices… Which sounds ok if u dont consider the fact that the food will be just as bad that u will leave on the plate almost untouched. And u wanna know the best part? That yout waiter still doesnt have 14 years. This is what we call – illegal children work. The little dirty boy had no clue about the menú or anything at all – he should sit in the school and learn counting numbers. And its not the first time we saw kids working, u just got a different picture when u see tiny girls “shepherding” in the mountains or kids begging money and selling chewing gum on the streets with a face like they are just about to give their kidneys away… and the food way bad plus we got extra very annoying musicians playing in the background then asking rudely for money. Cheap dodgy places. Better if u eat empanadas from the street – dont hesitate.
Arrived at the very early morning again with the sleeping bus… but this time we all slept well luckily – except Gabor who had some “dodgylastlunch” problems… anyway. He already organized and paid for a tour operator to pick up and take us to the misterious Nasca lines. The guy was there – everything was supersmooth (reccomending the Alas Peruanas). They took us to the airport, got on a plain and e were flying for about 30 minutes to see those special and unknown patterns.
I did not know – now i do – that my stomach and head is not keen on flying with small plains. I was “airsick” a bit cause the pilot was turning from left to right and then right to left all the time so we could see the forms and animals better. We did see the,. It is amazing – again. Not the experience itself – but the idea of this whole misterious sh*t: who drew them and for what reason? Very very very interesting…
After a couple of hours we already took our next bus… yeah i know, im getting really fed up with sitting on buses and traveling all the time – but there are such a big distances so if we wanna keep going on we have to move on. Again… after 4 hours we reached the “beach” in the edge of the dessert.
4000 the population… not much going on. There is one passatge on the seafront with bars, restaurants and tour operators – from here u can organize your trip to the Paracas National Reserve and Ballestas Islands. The 2 things worth to see. Both are manageable within one single day – starts at 8am in the morning – get a boat (very turistic but no other option) and go to see the “por people·s Galápagos” islands, JUST AMAZING.
Millions of birds flying everywhere plus sea-calves resting n the caves while penguins dancing on the cliffs. U need to love nature and animals to enjoy – cause its nothing else here – but this little off the traffic zone can take your breath away absolutely. After returning back u can take a bus with a guide and enter to the Reserved Area – the landscape is very pretty. U visit beaches and lagoons and listen some interesting local stories.
If u are here – can not miss a night with some pisco sour (the maracuyá sour is on the top choice as well) with a big plate of “ceviche”. Just wonderful. (South American gastro post is coming soon… )
Open up your mouth…!