...our favourite so far!
12.11.2012 - 13.11.2012 22 °C
Arequipa is fantastic.
We’re staying at El Albergue Espanol. It’s a quiet hostel with polite staff who speak enough English to prevent me from attempting Spanish too often. The showers are hot and powerful, and the beds have squishy down duvets. And, we’re paying half of what El Dorado was charging in Ica.
The first night we stayed in a private double with a private bathroom, but we moved into basic twin with a shared bathroom as soon as a room was available. This has saved us quite a bit of money. This room doesn’t have a telly, but the beds are just as big and just as comfortable. Neither one of us mind sharing a bathroom with the other travellers (although Jose advised us not to; I think he was feeling protective).
We left our towels in the first room, and requested new ones once moved, but the hostel owner explained in Spanish that we were only allowed one towel.
I must have asked the same question in about three different ways – I was so confused. Why would we get two towels in one room, but only one in another? There are two of us? There was a lady in reception, and she handed me the one towel as the man directed her to.
I told them both thank you as I headed back up to our room. It wasn’t really a big issue; we brought our own travel towels anyway. The lady from reception was in front of me as I went upstairs and she motioned for me to stop on the stairs. I did, and she sneaked around the corner to grab me another towel off of the line and put her finger up to her lips. Shhh.
Our first day here was a bit of a write off. We’d just come off the overnight bus from Ica, had a load of laundry to see to, and I puked up breakfast. I’m not sure if it was down to something I ate, the lack of sleep, or the altitude. I felt better as the day went on...and I got out of doing quite a lot of our laundry. (Muahahaaa!)
We probably spent about six hours (Woz says eight) washing, rinsing, and watching our bloody clothes dry in the sun on the roof terrace. It’s a shared space, and we didn’t want all our skivvies blowing around while people were trying to have lunch. It was a nightmare. We have clotheslines to hang up in our room, but there was only one small window and there was no sun or breeze getting in.
In Cusco, we’ll probably pay a few soles to get our laundry washed/dried/ironed for us. And we’ll go do something fun. Or maybe we’ll just sit in our room and be lazy. Either is better than doing laundry in your sink.
Yesterday, we ventured out to the main plaza which is l u s h. There are fountains and pigeons and everywhere seems tidy and clean. The buildings around the square (and the plaza itself) make up a UNESCO World Heritage site. It’s stunninG. (with a BirminGham G)
Young American girls are wandering around commenting on how ‘Americanized’ it feels. “I mean, did you, like, see the tights in that store? They were cute, but everything is totally Americanized here.”
Since when did tights become American?! Warren and I think it feels more Continental...which makes more sense as it was the flipping Spanish that colonised Peru.
Oh, we also walked to some lame bridge that WikiTravel recommended. If you’re into busy concrete bridges with traffic everywhere, this bridge would be right up your street. I took two photos and we turned around and went straight back towards the plaza.
We tried to visit Parque Selva Alegre, but it’s either out of season or only for rich people to use. We walked the perimeter, but all of the gates were closed and it was totally void of human activity.
I did see some llamas inside though. They were tied up, but seemed pretty content. This was the most exciting thing we saw at the park. Some man walked by and said ‘Hace carinoso’ or something similar in our direction...which I think is probably quite creepy.
Maybe he was talking to the llamas.
We treated ourselves to ramen noodles and shared a knockoff brand Coke for supper. It was a welcome break from cheese and tomato sandwiches! Tonight, Warren’s promised me a proper meal from a restaurant. It looks like you can get a whole three course meal for S./3.50 to S./8 on Calle Bolognesi.
Something I learned about Warren: he eats his broth before his noodles. I guess we’ve never had the opportunity to share a pack of super noodles before now. I eat my noodles first, and have justified it in this way: it’s better to fill up on the good stuff (noodles) before wasting precious tummy space with salty water (broth). I suppose I’ll forgive him this one error; he has other positive qualities.
On a slightly different note: watermelon is not always the sweet, innocent fruit it’s made out to be. If you eat a whole box of watermelon chunks as a late evening snack, you’ll probably wake up with the poops in the morning.
Just a word of advice.