I love Arequipa. I can't place my finger on it, but there is something magical about this place. I arrived to the hostel in the early evening and went out for a walk to the main plaza and cathedral. It was not quite dark, the square was lit up and it was gorgeous. I had originally gone out looking for vegetables to cook up a pasta sauce. Fruit I could find everywhere - on that note it is really exciting to see an abundance of fresh fruit, not just rubbish apples and bananas. Anyhow vegetables apart from potatoes and onions proved to be an impossible pursuit. So I ended up enjoying some street food, sat eating it in the main plaza and people watching. This is the life.
On my way back to the hostel I met a fellow Melbournian, who has already done Machu Picchu and was able to give me some good advice for the upcoming trip. Jo knew of a really amazing restaurant not too far from the hostel and even though I had already eaten, it sounded too good to pass up. Chicha is a gourmet restaurant in Arequipa and is pricey by Peruvian standards. However when you compare the prices to what you would pay in Melbourne, it's a steal. I couldn't possibly have a main course, and was quite happy with my chicha morada (purple corn maize wine). But once the dessert menu came out, it proved too hard to resist. I had the most amazing dessert of my life. A crepe stuffed with cheese, served with chocolate mousse, raspberry sorbet and passionfruit syrup. Each element (I sound w***y, I'm aware) was excellent on its own, but the combination of all together was absolutely incredible. A word of advice to you: if you are ever in Arequipa, go to Chicha!
I spent most of my second day in Arequipa taking little walks wandering in a different direction each time sometimes with company and sometimes alone. The buildings here are so interesting to look at. Lots of the buildings in the city centre are built with volcanic rock. I went to a little hole in the wall restaurant for lunch, and had two courses and a glass of wine for less than $2. Absolute madness. The prices still astound me every time. I also enjoyed some freshly made mini churros as a morning snack. So many yums!
Then I sadly had to do some serious stuff like laundry, organising tours and bus tickets. Not so fun, nor glamorous, but necessary.
Tomorrow it's off to Colca Canyon for two days, and then straight on to an overnight bus, so mum this is my way of saying I'll be off the grid for a few days.
Places I resign myself to the fact that I will not visit...
3 Iguazu Falls.