Now updating from safe and sound at home in Lautaro (yes I made it!(Betty too))
Arrive in Arica. After the pampering of San Pedro it’s weird to be back in a real city rather than the make believe rural beauty. There is a dock (from what I can see from the flat rooftop) and a cliff that stops bluntly before the sea like the snout of a beached whale. The low streets are littered and strangely enough it rained a few humid drops this morning. Hostel feels like a comfy shared student house, run by some young french people. I have study urge for all languages as usual and wish I had a Portugues dictionary. Do french for time being as so far the Brazilians are ausentes. May not be long before the influx- we’ll see. Had two very good brekkies. Keeping budget very low. This morning I let my dry humor out on some Australians who seem to be even dryer. Can get back to the earnest delight of S. Americans right away. Also a Mum and little girl were here from Poland. Kid looked like Madinah and was bilingual.
Funny how seamlessly I’ve started to move on. Attached to where I am in a few seconds and forget it as soon as I arrive in the next place… Ran up the hill to the cliff earlier and strolled along the beach today. Content of this hostel are friendly but all too European. Feeling South American sick and want to speak Spanish. Feel separate from the ultra coolness of latin beats and sports on the sand as night moves in.
Success. Settled on bus for Arequipa in Peru. Pressing 37 and rather sweaty but it’s okay. Im quite content. Taxi man saw us safe across the border with a little advice to stash our remaining oregano down our trou. I didnt do that but ate all the bananas and tomatoes in the queue. Yesterday we had mucho spare time in Arequipa and were’t inspired by the restaurant options so crept around pugnant rockpools, smelling the good smells and seeing how fast crabs can run. We also watched some turkey vultures eating a seal pup and heard the shouts of its mother from the rocky sea. Sounded like a human.
Then we walked back and wrote a song called desert puddle.
Experience of Peruvians so far is positive. Very helpful and sweet. Nice slow accents with a pleasant snipped end to each word and sentence However a north american lady stormed into the bus company office and was super maleducada and insolente. Just embarrassing.
One of my first tastes of homesickness or something of the sort. Just arrived in Arequipa tonight and landed in a quiet hostel. The bus ride dragged on the steep roads, scary overtaking, early evening and finally rain. Bus was searched like three times and driver had an obsession with stopping for ages. I didnt mind all this too much but family is on my mind.
Arequipa got a little loco. Dropped a note into the guys hostel (friends we met in San Peds) in the hope that a good coincidence would chance us to coincide. They materialized in the plaza spot on time like it never happens with some of the gals too. There followed a happy lunchtime Brazilian affair. The restaurant was very Peruvian and wooden with waitresses in straw cone shaped hats. Guinea pig was picked to pieces completely, thoroughly- tongue, brain, eyeballs and tiny wee heart included. Portugues was uttered in delighted excess.
The way to move around Arequipa seems to be in one of the 7 billion taxis there and we flushed through its system a fair amount of times that day. Breakfast was a pancake and jam then fried egg and bread with mango juice and tea on the rooftop. Settled my little sad soul after lying like a baby in a cot facing hideous clown faces drawn on the wall. So day was a rush of beeps and cars slamming on their breaks. Intersections of colours like the abundance of fruit spilling down in tears in the mercado. 2 mangos for 3 soles. Skidded to a halt near the maze hostel and entered- turned 10 corners, ascended 5 flights of stairs and walked through a garage, balcony and two yards to cook spagbol in the kitchen with nice friend Tana. Made massive amounts so involved as much of the hostel as possible. High on tired, planning for party and for 2.30 wake up to go to the Colca Canyon.
Insert here: Im sat in a deck chair inside the biggest canyon in the world. Its saturated with water vegetation and fruit . Grass is spongy and tin roofs dripping from downpour. Its getting towards dusk. Our room is a clay house with two beds and a wooden little table with a candle on a colourful peruvian throw. It’s stunningly beautiful here like nothing I’ve seen before.
I left last night for Wildrover hostel/bar renowned for it’s party to meet friends. Enter raucous bar, chicos absent. Quickly found some very blond german girls and talked to nice groups of various chaps and girls for some time. Great company and great conversation but I suggest that anyone going to high altitudes drink no more than one unit of alcohol because I had two and dont remember the rest of the night so clearly. Found my way to the tour bus by three which was already crammed with partying Brazilians. Climbed around the bus eating whole avocados until daybreak then fell asleep for 10 mins.
Pause here before the arrival at Colca Canyon. Im gonna go to bed and continue writing tomorrow maybe 🙂 Love xx