The long trip to Arequipa
This was a long journey that my clients and I had to get here. (Hier geht es zum deutschen Blog.) By train to Frankfurt, then with LATAM to Madrid, change the plane and off to Lima. Get the luggage and check it in again and with the next plane to Arequipa. About 24 hours of travelling.
The second largest city of Peru is located at 2300 m. (During our visit here we got four guides and they are not sure if Arequipa is the second or the third largest city in Peru…) Even the domestic flight here was great, because we had a clear view of Peru. We fly over barren landscapes and green mountains with deep cuts.
Arequipa is built on many hills and is expanding more and more. The inner city consists of many white houses. Therefore the name “white city” does not come, as our local guide Elisa explains. The name of the city comes from the very light-skinned inhabitants.
We arrive at noon. In Germany it is already evening. Here it is seven hours earlier.
Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
Each of us spends the hours until dinner to his taste. Elisa makes a reservation at a place at the Zigzag restaurant, a very good choice, not only because it is a short walk from our Hotel San Agustin Posada, but also because it has a splendid kitchen.
We all get a paper litter. We are looking a bit astonished, but first we try the country-typical Pisco Sour. Then our food is served on a hot lava rock and we know why, because it is still sizzling. I got Alpaca, which contains nearly zero fat and tastes fantastic.
After the well-earned night’s rest, we set off for the city tour in the morning.
The bus picks us up in a side street, because in the historic old town there are almost only very narrow one-way streets, which cannot be used by the bus.
We first go to two vantage points to have a look at the three volcanoes, which are partly over 6000 m high. They are called Misti, Chachani and Picchu, Picchu.
it´s a bit hazy, but we have a good view of the two extinct and the one still active volcano. Elisa tells us that here in Arequipa they get daily earthquakes, but they are usually not felt. I did not notice any…
Soon we see the terraced fields laid out by the Incas. Everything is beautifully green, because nevertheless the place is quite high, there is no snow; not even in winter, which comes soon. Even on the high volcanoes snow can´t be seen all the time.
Soon we get off and walk on. First through the market hall. Elisa shows us some fruits which we do not know, for example very small papayas that smell like mangoes. Peru has got more than 3000 different kinds of potatoes!
We pass many beautiful buildings and have a look at the Iglesia de la Compania. At the Plaza de Armas we enjoy the view of the cathedral, as we cannot go inside, since it doesn´t open until late afternoon.
For crêpes and coffee, we take a break in the “Crepisimo”. Very delicious as we find. Then it goes diagonally opposite in the monastery Santa Catalina, the city in the city. A one-hour tour shows us how the nuns have lived secluded from the world for centuries.
Nuns still live here, but nowhere near as cloistered. They even have their own gym!
We want to finish the evening in the star restaurant “Chicha“. Unfortunately nothing will come of it. We sit in a covered but still very draughty courtyard. Even the heat lamps do not help to create a comfortable feeling. Unfortunately, the obviously overwhelmed waiter does not help to improve the stay. The guinea pig, the local specialty here, is tough, the meat dry and almost cold. Like me, several of my fellow travelers are still hungry after three hours. I can only hope that this was a single event and we only had bad luck after paying a lot more than usually.