Day 4: From Nazca to Arequipa
Arequipa Travel Blog› entry 7 of 17 › view all entries
July 30th, 2009 – by: davdstraat
We will follow the Panamerican highway for most of the day, before taking a sharp west turn, into the mountains. Once again the day starts cloudy, misty and rainy over a barren desert landscape.
An hour into our journey we stop at a rare geological feature, to take photo's there: a faultline across the desert. The fault, about 25 m deep, is the South-Amedican prolongation of the San Andreas fault, and it opened up during an earthquake in 1985.
After this photostop, we follow the faultline for quite a many a mile, before it suddenly takes a turn and crosses the highway (which has been restored now, so we can simply drive over the bridge). Shortly after that bridge, the faultline disappears from view, not to return anymore.
Our next stop is in Chala for a cup of tea (most of the group drinks coffee), in Hotel de Turistas (a hotel on the seaside). The hotel looks very much empty, but after a little bit of looking around, we find someone to serve us our drinks. At least we have a very nice view over the sea, where the fishing boats lay moared and the birds flock the ocean.
We continu our ride along the coast, with the ever changing view of much desert, some farmland and a ragged coastline. At some point I even manage to get all three of those on one photo. The beautiful views give rise to the necessity of a photostop, which we hold above the valley leading to Ocaña. In that town we also hold a short sanitary stop, before taking the final stage of coastdrive to Camanéé, where we stop for lunch.
Quite soon after our inland turn we see the active Volcano "El Misti" towering over the landscape. The huge mountain with the everlasting snow on top is a sharp contrast with the outstretched sandplanes of desert we pass through. During the photostop for one of the best views of El Misti, I can't neglect to take a few pictures of the sandy flatland (already at an altitude of over a kilometer) and of the two contrasts together.
During the rest of our ride, we hold only one more stop in La Joya for human necessities, before arriving in Arequipa, where we are going to stay the next two nights.
Having taken some recovery time in my room on the topfloor (the fifth), I decide to take a stroll around the main square. At first instance, I don't get very far: just beyond the lift, there is a roofterras on this floor; I go up there for the view of the town (and the exotic plants growing in the pots on the terras). Almost by accident I find the swimmingpool (I was so intrigued with looking at the cityscape, that I discover the swimmingpool by just being able to retract my foor before taking a very sudden plunge).
My tour around the Plaza de Armas results in me finding both things I set out for: some more postcards to send, and a cookery book with typical Peruvian recipees in a readable language (so English, not just Spanish, or, even worse, Quechua).
After the quite tasty dinner in the restaurant of the hotel (vegatable broth, boeuf Stroganoff and chocolate cake), I join a number of my travel companions for another (now nighttime-) walk around and this time also across the main square (Plaza Majore). The intended relaxed stroll holds another surprise: near the middle of the square, a group of students from the university of Arequipa try to cover their costs of studying by performing as a folklore group playing more local traditional music... There's just one little snag: they don't just play music - they also dance.
After completing our tour-de-square, we settle down at the terrace of the hotel (on balcony of the first floor, overlooking our podium of a few minutes ago) for a last drink of the day, talking about the memories we made today.
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!