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Off to see Peru! Part 3


sunny 70 °F

We get in around 6 am and are met with several vans. Peru Hop divides us by where we are staying and I was directed to the correct van. When I booked my room online I told them I would be arriving around 6 am. They said that they had 24 hr check in. I ring the bell and a guy checks me in: $40 for 5 nites, shared bathroom. Looking back, I would pay more and have my own bathroom. Unpack and try to get some rest. I was up at 10 am and then down to the lobby. There is bread, tea for 2 sols in the lobby. I chat with the desk guy while having my tea, bread. He has a map of the city and suggests taking the free walking tour. Short walk to the meeting place and wait for our guide. There has to be 50 of us waiting for our guide to arrive. He has the gift of gab and leads us down the street to our first stop. After reminding us that he works for tips for the 5th time in the first 15 minutes, I bail on the tour. He talks too much and not enough sightseeing. I walk to the plaza and decide to book my Colca Canyon tour after checking with 3 different tour companies. $30 for the 2 day, 1 nite tour. Almost every tourist goes to Colca Canyon once they are in Arequipa. I walk to the daily market for some food, drink and spot a llama backpack. It is a bargain at 30 sols and will always remind me of my trip to Peru. Walk the plaza, photos, snack back to my room, shower, rest. Then up to the roof where they have a common area. Not really handy but that is the only area you can meet other guests than the small lobby. The temp really drops as soon as the sun sets and I go back to my room, read, exercise, bed.
I was up at 6 am, downstairs, 2 sols for croissant, tea. I pack for my overnight tour and they pick me up at 7:45 am. It takes us an hour just to get out of the city. Too many vehicles for the narrow streets to handle. Our first stop is a rest area where there are llamas, vicunas. There are several owners of the llamas, vicunas and each has put different colored yarn thru the ears of their animals. Plenty of time to take photos, then tip the ladies for letting us pose with their llamas. I had bought some coca lozenges in Arequipa to combat altitude sickness and start sucking on them. We are at 3,700 meters (12,00 ft) elevation and most of us are feeling the affects of the altitude.
On to our overnight stop of Chivay. We are herded into a large buffet room and I look at what they have for lunch. Plenty of items for me but the price was 30 sols, beverage extra. I decide to pass and ask the guide when I should be back. I have an hour before the van takes us to our hotel. I walked down a side street and see 4 policemen eating at a small cafe. Nobody spoke any English but Alex in Lima had written down rice, vegetables, tea. I had a huge portion of both for 5 sols. I walked back to the buffet and waited for the group to finish. There was large dog on the stop and I started petting her. She was very friendly and like most dogs, just wanted attention. After 10 minutes and talking to her and petting her, it was time to get on the van. I found a seat and relaxed. The dog had followed me onto the van and she put her head on my lap. She then put her front paws on me and tried to crawl on to my lap. I told her she was a good girl and petted her some more. Our guide saw what was happening, took her collar and lead her off the van. The van drives around Chivay and lets each of off at our hotel. I was the only one at the place I picked. It was OK, 2 beds, bathroom. Plenty of blankets as it gets cold at this altitude. We have 3 hours before they pick us up for our folk dancing show and dinner. I unpack, grab my camera and walk to the main plaza. Photos, ice cream and back in time to get on the van for our evening show. Dinner was 30 sols, beverage extra. I passed and walked across the street to a cafe. I pulled out my notebook and pointed to rice, veggies, tea. Again it was 5 sols for dinner instead of 30 plus beverage. I walked back in time for the dancing, I took some photos, room, bed by 10 pm.

I was up at 5:30, down to office for BF. They serve bread, tea, room to clean up and get on the van at 6:30. We need to get to the condor viewing area while they are flying. Plenty of other vans pulled over and we pile out for the condors soaring overhead . I took plenty of photos but only one I liked. Our guide then walks us along the edge of Colca Canyon for an hour. Took some photos, back on the van. We go back to Chivay for the lunch buffet. Same deal as before: 30 sols plus beverage. I knew I could do better so I walked to the main plaza and found the same cafe as yesterday. Rice, veggies, tea, 5 sols. On the van and we stop a few times for bathroom, llamas, vicunas. Ladies bring them to the rest stops and want a few sols to pose with their animals. Photos, van back to Arequipa. Traffic is terrible and the van lets us out on a side street. One of the guys knows where we are and we walk to Plaza de Armis. I know my way from here, Walk to my room, unpack, clean up. Across the street is a market and I buy some fruit. I eat on the rooftop, then my exercises, read, bed at 9 pm.

I was up early, my exercises, lobby for bread, tea. Walk main plaza for photos and then I see some Mormon guys in their white shirts and black pants. We had nice chat about their missionary work in Arequipa, also about Utah, Vegas. Back to the main market for a floppy hat for sun protection. My baseball hat will not cut it at Machu Picchu. I took some photos of the market, got my floppy hat and headed back to the main plaza. I bought some food on the way to the room and that will do for dinner. Miguel at the desk confirms that Peru Hop will pick me up at 5:45 am tomorrow.


Posted by vegasmike6 06:56 Archived in Peru

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