We didn't know what to expect from Arequipa but we were pleasantly surprised! When we first pulled into the city on a night coach it looked huge!
With over 1 million people it was going to be big but when we arrived in the centre it was like a small beautiful Spanish city. With old buildings built of big white rock and mostly colonial features on every street it was really nice to chill and mooch about town.
First day we went on a free walking tour, always the best way to get your bearings and learn about the city's history. A few free local drink specialities were thrown in as well! The main plaza has a huge cathedral which is starting to be decorated for Christmas. Still a bit weird in this heat to realise Christmas is around the corner but hoping the locals are starting to get into the festivities!
Staying in Wild Rover the nights were always going to be hectic and the first was as expected! Ended up making friends with a mixed group of locals and backpackers and headed to a local club...
On the Saturday we met up with the Swedish couple Andy and Tina again and planned white water rafting on a river just on the edge of town. With grades 1-4 along the river (5 being the most technical when rafting) it was a great little trip and a really good laugh. The great guide made the trip and we're just waiting on some pictures to come through of the day!
Sunday was an early start after a 'relatively' quite night! Bags packed and off at 8am to the Colca Canyon, being the 2nd deepest canyon in the world, only second to another canyon in the same region (by a few meters) it looked to be good! First day we went into the National Park, various view points and spent the afternoon in some 35 degree hot springs. The second day we visited local towns and then onto the view point for the deepest part of the canyon, the part you can also spot Condors gliding, one of the biggest birds in the world!
We spotted one condor but considering the weather wasn't ideal for gliding in the wind, it was better than none at all! Back to Arequipa that afternoon and a night bus to Cusco!
Hectic few days but we needed to make up some time from Bolivia to meet up with one of Gemma's friends in Cusco who's travelling with us for a few months.
We also picked up some unwanted friends in Arequipa, in the form of bed bugs! Luckily we were in Wild Rover so it was dealt with professionally and they cleaned all our clothes and our backpacks. Travelling for 6 months already I was surprised it had taken this long to happen!