Thursday, 9 January 2014

273 Arequipe

Tuesday 7th January 2014
Miles Today 246  Total 33,251
We packed up at a slow pace despite knowing that we had a long way to go today. The hotel had been nice, overlooking the pool etc. What did irk us somewhat was that as we checked out and paid our bill for the laundry, the receptionist asked the maid to check the mini bar. They then charged us 5 soles for an empty water bottle that we had bought somewhere else.
We paid it to make it go away but silly things like that leave a nasty taste in your mouth. 

Nice pool, just don't drink the water !!!
Having both been a bit down and disappointed with Peru, we both gave ourselves a kick up the backside and reminded ourselves that we were on the trip of a lifetime and were living many peoples dreams.
True to form, the grey nomads are back on track and this was helped to a great degree by the change of scenery.

The ride along the coast was spectacular and it a refreshing change to the barren and boring deserts we had drive over for the past few days. I would compare it to a dry version of Big Sur, the famous coastal drive in California.

The coastal views were a stark contrast to the flat boring desert.

We had not seen much in the way of wildlife and then we came across about 30 vultures chilling in the sunshine. The temperature was a very mild 25C and it was pleasant to be able to ride without the discomfort of the heat.

What are you looking at ?

We stopped for some food at a restaurant not realising that it was only sea food. We ordered cerviche which is raw fish soaked in lime juice and chillies for about 15 minutes and apparently this 'cooks' it. Karen was convinced, I wasn't. We did not eat all of it !
It was then on to the town of Camana where we knew a reasonable hotel was situated.  On arrival we were knackered but for once not all sticky and sweaty. 
The town was actually very nice and we ended up eating at a Chinese restaurant and then to bed.

Wednesday 8th January 2014 

Miles Today 112  Total 33,363
A short ride today and we got it over very quickly. The fist part was our old friend the boring desert. 
Vanishing point....

Oh look, look a bend. Wohoo.

Half way along the scenery picked up and the rest of the journey was very pleasant.

At a round 2pm we pulled into Ariquipe and initially thought that there was a riot in progress but we later found out that there is a police and an Army training base here.  It is the second largest city in Peru.

I remember this smile. We usually had it when we were carrying riot shields and it was about to get....errrr....Interesting.

The traffic was a real pain in the butt. With Wallace being so wide we struggle to get through the traffic like other bikes.

Bloody traffic.

The City was however a stark contrast to the rest of Peru. It was clean. Amazingly so. It was a very pleasant change to what we were used to.

We just love these traditional clothes that the mountain Indians still wear.

We found a McDonalds and thought we would treat ourselves to some stodge. It was actually a nice change to eat something that we recognised. Inside we saw this on the wall. It is a recognition chart for for all the Llama (pronounced 'Yama') type animals in the region.

Llama's are a lot bigger that Aplaca's. So now you know.

After a rummage around for some much needed washing supplies we adjourned to the center of town, a 2 minute walk, and searched for a bar for a beer or two.

The Cathedral at dusk from our bedroom window.

We found a nice little alleyway where there were clearly lots of restaurants and halfway down we found an Irish bar. We asked if they had and Kilkenney, no, how about Guiness, no, so the bar is not very Irish it it, no.
Then an English voice behind us said "they have Abbott and Old Speckled Hen".  Wohoo. Real old English falling down water. Needless to say we did our best to deplete their stocks.
However, Kieran, the owner of the English voice turned out to be a very nice guy. He hails from the Hatfield area, about 10 miles from where we live and has a sister that lives only about 300m from us in Hoddesdon. He is ex Royal Air Force and is now a retired teacher. Following his divorce, he decided to become a volunteer teacher in Peru.
We had a very interesting evening putting the world to rights. His Political views were more akin to ex forces rather than ex teacher so we fitted in quite well together. It was such a good night that we did not notice the witching hour pass and we parted company not long after midnight. Sadly, no photo, we forgot our Camera.
Kieran, you made our brief stop in Arequipe a real pleasure, thank you. 

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