Tacos Tequila and Treking
Trip Start Dec 29, 2009
37Trip End Dec 24, 2010
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Where I stayed
As you can probably tell from the last blog we were beyond pleased to be arriving into Arequipa. In Huacachina I had given Em the task of booking our hostel... later that day, I received an email from somewhere called ´The House of Penguins´.´¨We are pleased to confirm your reservations for 2 nights....¨
Niks: Em, did you book us into somewhere called ´The House of Penguins
Niks: Out of all the millions of hostels, you chose somewhere called the House of Penguins
Em: I am pretty sure i didnt pick somewhere called the house of penguins
Niks: Hmmm, looks like we are booked in, oh great, can you imagine, we are going to be stuck in a house with crazy people obsessed with penguins, who live in peru, they probably have a penguin torture chamber and make you sleep with penguin memorabilia, and have penguin outfits and surprise you in the night and make you eat fish like penguins do, they only throw you breakfast and if you catch it you get it
Em: just listens, looks worried, and double checks.. yes we are booked into the house of penguins
Nikki: OOHHHH great (ranting continues)
Well. Didnt i have to eat my words. ´Surprisingly, no we didnt have to catch our breakfast in our mouths. We were greeted by a lovely dutch lady and ushered into a pristine gorgeous house with a courtyard and a smorgasboard of amazing breakfast food.. cereal and fruit and yoghurt and coffee and tea and ham and cheese and bread and then shown to an amazing room with two beds and a shining private bathroom and cable tv, a living room with a DVD collection and big huge couches.
Em: Suck on that Buckeridge
I am still apprehensive that the torture isnt over. No longer will I make grand assumptions based on names (but really, House of Penguins??). The lady tells us that all the hostels in the area are basically empty because of Macchu Picchu being closed. I think they will all be glad when it reopens on April 1st, as the flow on effect is trickling down to Arequipa and its 11 hours away from Cusco, which is the worst affected. The good news is that its the low season, the damage would have been devastating to their businesses had it affected their busiest months (May - September). Actually, Emmie and I will be volunteering in Cuzco, rebuilding homes and schools that have been devastated by the landslides..
Back to Arequipa
So yes we have an amazing hostel. Arequipa is an adventure town, with rafting and horse riding and volcanos, and it has alot of architectural history. We spent yesterday sightseeing the churches and a Monastery which is in fact its own little mini city which has housed nuns since the 1500´s and is still in tact and used today. The nuns opened it up to the public in the 1970´s as a means of raising money for the church... previous methods such as baking cakes and sweets and collections were not providing the funds needed to sustain the monastery and 50 nuns inhabiting it. We did our own little tour and navigated around the town (there are literally streets and streets of mini houses and bathing areas and dining halls and of course prayer rooms) taking silly pictures and being us in general. tres amusing. See photos.
Arequipa is a funny little town. The locals obviously see far less westerners (noted increase in whistles and wows and oooh ingles etc etc) and the way they drive is absolutely insane. there are no traffic lines so one simply arrives in the car to the intersection and beeps incessantly until everyone stops, and then passes. Even funnier they have personalised horns to emphasise their tooting. all you can hear is various musical tunes and it is sooo noisey and if your walking amongst these streets you literally just have to dart in time when no one is tooting, despite the fact every street crossing is a pedestrian zebra crossing
Last night we went to a place called Taco y Tequila which is now called heaven. it has AMAZING food for soooo cheap and fantabulous margaritas and sangria jugs.. happy campers. now hungover campers today! Those horns are killing me now I tell you!
Tomorrow, we get up at 3.30am and are taken 5 hrs on a bus before we commence a 3 day trek into the Colca canyon! We will stay in local villages and get a taste of how the locals live.. very exciting
Hope all is well with everyone, we miss you and news from home is always appreciated!
until next time