2004 Journey Erik's Travels Peru

¡Arequipa, Arequipa!

Thomas and I arrived in Arequipa, Peru on Saturday (May 29th) night. We left Arica in the early afternoon to head to the bus station only to find out that to get across the Chile – Peru border ment transport in a Colectivo. So we wandered over to the colectivo area and hired one of the many people with huge old shitty cars to drive us across the border for C$2,000 (US$3.30) each. We ended up having to wait almost an hour for our driver to secure three other passengers and we finally set out for the hour drive to Arica´s sister city of Tacna. Once we got to Tacna we found bus tickets for Arequipa with no problem but had a couple hours to kill. So we sat down at a little lunch counter in the bus station and I tried to order a Inca Kola but got a chicken sandwich instead. Which wasn´t bad as soon as I got my Inca Kola to wash it down with. On the bus to Arequipa we watched one of the strangest movies I have ever seen. It was an American gang/robber movie that was so poorly made and acted that Thomas and I just could not figure out how it possibly made it´s way to a bus in Peru. But at least it was in English.

We made it into Arequipa about 9pm and hired a taxi to take us to our hostel. The taxi driver told us that the hostel we wanted to go to was closed but he knew of a much better one. So I told him to take us there anyways and of course it was open and welcoming. Poor Thomas contracted my illness of last week on Saturday and came down with it way worse then I had it. So the last few days Thomas has been recuperating himself and today is doing much better. Luckally the hostel had a wide range of movies for us to watch (including Star Wars!) but when I asked if we could watch them the hostel worker said “The VCR is in my flat.” And that was that. No movies.

So we have been hanging out in the “White City” of Arequipa the last few days just resting up and playing lots of Yatzee and War. We have dined at the Italian restaurant of legend (from our previous visit to Arequipa two years ago) a couple times and last night listened to the blind accordian player who played for us two years ago! It is very interesting making a second visit here. It seems like there are way more gringos here then before though. Which is kind of a shock after being in Chile and Argentina where there was a significantly less amount of gringos.

Tomorrow we are going to head to the Colca Canyon for a couple days and then Friday Thomas starts his journey back to Santiago, Chile to head home on Tuesday and I am going to go to Puno and then to La Paz, Bolivia.