A first for all of us – the overnight bus. All the guidebooks say they have been hijacked and take at your own risk so you can appreciate I was a little apprehensive. There seemed to be lots of tourists on the bus so wasn’t too worried. We didn’t get on the bus until 11pm and poor Josh had to climb over the guy who had fallen asleep in the aisle seat. This is more difficult as the seats recline so much so he had to slip in at a virtual 90 degree angle. The journey passed without incident and I slept pretty well. We were woken up with breakfast and a view of the mountain pass we were climbing.
Arequipa is a fertile valley surrounded by mountains and a volcano. Yes at last we have a view of the volcano – no lava but it is nice to see the top of one! We checked in to the hotel and slept again. When we felt a bit more human we ventured into the town. I had to take my camera in as it has given up the ghost – I think some sand has got in it. We found a shop that I hope he understood and has taken it in but I do feel at the mercy of the Gods a tiny bit.
Found the supermarket and stocked up and then onto the big yellow tour bus of the city. I love these buses, you are so obviously a tourist riding along in a yeallow double decker with Peruvian music playing to add to the atmosphere. All the kids wave at you and it is so nice to see so many smiles. Many buildings are made from white Volcanic rock and the architecture is quite spectacular. There are quite a few churches and one had a communion/baptism service in progress. We were all invited in and the little girls looked so sweet in their finest satin dresses with their hair all curled. I can’t imagine our country being quite so friendly somehow and it makes me sad. These people have so much less in terms of material things and yet are welcoming, friendly and willing to share their most precious moments with us strangers. The bus took us out into the country and among other things we saw traditional farm workers laden with packs on their backs – tied with sheets. Many women wore the traditional hats and also had babies tied to their backs. There are many fields growing all sorts of crops and cows, llamas and alpacas we saw them all. It got a bit cold on the way back so had to wear my alpaca hat and look like a complete tourist!
Tags: South America, Travel