Arequipa Travel Blog› entry 16 of 35 › view all entries
Arequipa, a beautiful city to say the least and easily the best city we´ve been to in Peru so far. We arrived at around 7am after an overnight bus from Nazca. The bus was supposedly Semi-Cama class (nicer than cattle class), however this one wasn´t the best, wouldn´t want to see the class below. We arrived at the bus stop about 10mins by taxi out of town and headed for a hostel by the name of ´Marlons House´. The trip there was interesting, similar to Lima road rules needn´t be adheered to and i am just glad i wasn´t driving. Marlons place looked nice at first inspection and not a bad price for a double room, however there were none available at the time, Marlon assured us though that he´d fix us up and we could head off for a trip into the city.
We had two nights in Arequipa that were broken around a trip to the Colca Canyon for a night (see the next entry for the colca canyon). We ended up staying in that hotel for both nights as Marlon screwed us over when we arrived back from the trip to the canyon. It certainly wasn´t a backpacker place, but ít was nice for a bit of a relax, especially after some seriously long hours in the colca canyon. We did however get to spend about two full days in Arequipa.
A walk through arequipa is a buzz to say the least, its a very beautiful city with coble stone roads and beautiful architecture, but the people are a little zany. Taxis are everywhere, about 95% of cars on the road are taxis and they all beep at you for a ride, noisy bastards. The intersections close to the Plaza de Armas (the city square) have lights, but the ones a little further out don´t and i haven´t worked them out yet apart from first in best dressed. There´s no stop or give way signs, just get the nose of your car in there, makes for some fun in the back seat of the car with no seat belt. Crossing the road is also a bit of fun at times, keep on your toes. Arequipa is also a place where you can pick up just about anything from a man or woman on the street. The stardard drinks or chocolate bars are very common, but there´s also what i´d call your non-impulse buys such as buckets, plastic fans, rulers, snails, passport photos (lots of these) and even people with scales to check you weight! A great place if you like to buy crap, dad (AC´s) you´d love it.
The food here is great! We´ve heard a lot of people give Peruvian food a bit of a bashing, but i reckon its fantastic, you certainly don´t go hungry here. Had my first Alpaca steak here the other night, it was great and there was even some locals in traditional dress playing local music in the back ground. One of the songs they played was the background music to the old muncheros ad (a type of chip that used to be Aus), ´Munch on muncheros, i´d rather munch on moncheros, munch on muncheeeerrrrooos!´ Fanstactic stuff. Sarah has even convinced me to go to the vegetarian Hare Krishnas restaurant, she loved it, but they tried to sell me a tofu hamburgesa, none of that! The best part though was the mexican food we had, a great little restaurant, very cheap.
We spent a lot of time in markets, but not a lot of other stuff as we had to have early nights while here because of our trip to the Colca Canyon and our overnight bus to Cuzco. Arequipa is a great place though, well worth a stop if you´re on the gringo trail through Peru.