View from my bedroom door
Have a nice sleep in, shower and get to breakfast by 10. I only want coffee, my weak aqua sucia (hola Lau). Finish yesterday’s blog. Talk to the manager about a possible bus tour of the city this afternoon. He recommends it and I go down and book with Sandra at reception. www.bustour.com.pe city and country, full loop, 4 hours, NS35, AUD13, plus I will pay optional entrance fees for two places if I want to enter, total additional NS15, AUD5.50. I am going to Colca Canyon tomorrow and would prefer not to have to shift my belongings for one night. Sandra thinks it will be ok if I pay half the room cost, NS25, AUD9. Definitely worth saving the hassle of having to pack everything up into my suitcase
Catch a taxi into town, ask the cost first, NS2.
It’s a good idea to ask first. Buy a hamburger and bottle of water, NS7.5, AUD2.75. Pretty terrible burger, doesn’t seem to have any meat in it. Then the bus tour starts. It is interesting, particularly visiting the home of the first founder of Arequipa and a water mill where grain was ground. The former has been largely restored as the Chileans ransacked the place during the Pacific War. I sit in the upper floor of the double decker. There aren’t many tourists; no doubt many are in Cusco for Inti Raymi.
View to the left
Just before I leave the bus I am given a flyer with information on a place called Patio del Ekeko, called the Tourist Shopping Centre of Arequipa.
It has a picture of a lovely, thick steak on the front. As it’s only ½ block from the main plaza, I decide to investigate. Yes, it’s for tourists. Very expensive but lovely stuff, four or five levels. I go to the restaurant and order a steak, the most tender, without salt or pepper. When the steak comes, it is excellent, except that it has pepper on it. I start to scrape the pepper off. The waiter rushes up, he’s just realized, and apologizes, taking the plate away. The same steak is returned a few minutes later, rather colder, with cold vegetables by now. They’ve just scraped the condiments off, along with some of the juices. It’s a nice steak, but not as nice as it might have been. I order the dessert, Ekeko torte, or some similar name. Turns out to be a very nice carrot cake. Catch a cab back to the hotel. Have a shower; not always hot, and an early night.
Plaza de Armas. Fountain dates from around 1730.
Today's trivia. As you've probably noticed, most houses don't have gardens. So where do Peruanos keep their dogs if they're not on the streets? On the roof of course. Most houses have flat roofs and as we drive by on the double decker bus, the dogs have great fun barking at us.