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The overnight bus from Nasca arrived in Arequipa pretty much on-time. About an hour before we arrived we were provided with breakfast which was some fruit juice, about 2 teaspoons of fruit salad plus a ham and cheese sandwich. We chose to give the sandwich a miss but we ate the rest.

We had read some stories online about Arequipa's bus station being dangerous and so we had images in our mind of a dark, gloomy place full of pickpockets. What we found was quite different - it was a big place, lined with small shops on one side and desks of the bus companies on the other side, and it seemed safe enough.

We waited in line and grabbed our bags, then went to ring Colca Treks and ask where our taxi was - they were supposed to send Pablo but we could not see him. After the phone call it turns out they sent Pablo to the airport instead of the bus station, but they quickly arranged another ride for us and we only had to wait for 5 minutes extra. From there, a 15-minute drive had us at Hostal Solar's front door (well, around the corner as there was a bunch of workers digging up the street).

Once inside Hostal Solar we checked in but, just like the Nasca hotel, they seemed a little vague as to who we were even though we definitely had a booking. Once that was sorted out, we were shown to our room which was quiet, clean and modern. We chose to quickly unpack some gear, and we took a snooze for 3 hours.

In the early afternoon we got up and went for a walk to Plaza De Armas. The main cathedral was closed, but we got some photos around the square.

We went to the Santa Catalina Convent which is only 5 minutes away from the main square. The entry fee was S/. 30 each, and we had to leave our bags at a safe deposit just past the ticket office. At the first courtyard we were approached by an official asking us if we would like a tour guide, I seem to recall reading somewhere in the past that these are students doing the tours. We asked the price and they said a minimum payment of S/. 15, so we took a guided tour which lasted about 45 minutes and was quite informative. At the end we gave our guide S/. 25 as she was great. She had also described to us that she enjoys eating the traditional guinea pig dish "bone by bone" which we found quite amusing. I still can't bring myself to try the guinea pig .... especially since it's served without fur but with head, feet, claws, etc.

After dropping our bags back at the hostal, we went to a small Mexican restaurant for dinner. The food was excellent, although Briony said that it's all pre-cooked and just microwaved. Who cares, it still looked at tasted good! Unfortauntely during dinner I had a headache and we both had sore arms, perhaps something to do with Arequipa's 2600m altitude?

After dinner we went back to the Hostal, and my headache got worse. I had some tablets for it, but also began to feel sick in the stomach (I'd been a bit funny before though, I don't think it was the food!). I had to rush to the toilet and vomited my Mexican. I felt much better afterwards, so we packed our bags for our Colca Canyon Trek and went to bed.

Next: Colca Canyon, Cabanaconde, Peru
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