The White City

Trip Start Nov 17, 2010
1
24
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Trip End Feb 27, 2011


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Sunday, January 9, 2011

09/01/2011 - Sunday
The Point is a hostel chain based soley in Peru, similar to Loki as it has a pretty laid back party atmosphere.  I woke up just in time for breakfast, and found the hostel fairly empty.  Downstairs there was a common room or meal room, with a bar, filled with pictures of travellers and writing on the walls.  Outside there were hammocks, a ping pong table, and a nice grassy area.

We had a few games of ping pong, which I lost all but the opening match (it is generally the opposite back home). I blamed the poor condition of the table, as it gets left out in the rain and also the paddles without any rubber or grip on them.

The Plaza de Armas in Arequipa was about a 15 to 20 minute walk from the hostel, which we found without too much trouble.  We stopped by in a chifa for a cheap lunch.  All around the plaza were white buildings with nice archs and designs, and in the centre of the plaza was a fountain.  In my opinion it was the nicest plaza we had seen so far.

Around the plaza there are many cafes and restaurants, mostly on the first story of the building.  Across the road in the North-Eastern corner of the plaza, there is a doorway which leads to a rooftop cafe. In fact I think the name might be "Rooftop Cafe", but it offers some fantastic views of the plaza and surrounds, and it much higher than all the other cafes around.

Because we were in the rainy season, clouds constantly covered the three volcanic peaks surrounding the city - El Misti, Chachani and Pichu-Pichu, which was a shame.

10/01/2011 - Monday
Missed out on booking a Colca Canyon tour.  We were still pretty tired from all the travel, as well as just recovering from being sick on the salt flats tour so we gave it a miss.  Probably should have gone as I have heard good things about it.

We also visited the Incan museum hoping to see Juanita the "Ice Princess", however at the time she was in the labs getting a touch up.  At the beginning of the tour there was a video detailing how Juanita was found, and also the events leading up to her death on top of the mountain.  The guide spoke English, and took us through some galleries filled with Incan burial items.  There was a replacement mummy at the end of the tour, one of the other children that was uncovered along with Juanita.

11/01/2011 - Tuesday
I went on a city tour with Pamela, a girl from Chile.  We booked a tour bus, the ones you see with an open roof, and went around to many of the city's famous sights, such as the Church of the Jesuits, and la Mansion del Fundador, out in the countryside.  Also we visited a farm for fruits (I think), a farm where you could do horse riding, and a South American Camel farm.  It is called that because all four types of South American camels were kept there- guanacos, alpacas, llamas and vicuņa. 

At the bus station, we checked in and checked our luggage at the counter, just like at an airport.  Through the gates there was even a waiting lounge with refreshments (that you had to pay for).  The company was Cruz del Sur, the same one that we went previously.  We had booked semi cama, but the seats were almost like full-cama seats, and very wide as well.  For once both Oliver and I had enough leg room.  The stewardess came around and photographed everyone, for security purposes.  Once the bus pulled out there was a safety instruction video.  It was all very fancy, and I highly recommend the company to everyone travelling in Peru.
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