Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Arequipa, Peru

Me petting an Alpaca.
Doesn't it look happy?
From Chile, I took a seven hour bus ride to Arequipa, known as the White City. This is because the city is built with white lava stones excavated from the nearby volcanoes. I didn't do much in Arequipa; except I wrote and wrote and edited and agonized and re-wrote and then put away my story story. It's about my time in a beach village in Northern Peru. I'll try to publish it soon, but I needed it a break from it for now.

I enjoyed talking to a local restaurant owner, who was a Venezuelan lady. We had a full on conversation about how she started her restaurant business. That made me feel good that I could understand someone else's story. And it was rather involved.

Also, I saw Colca Canyon, but I didn't stay long. I didn't have enough time there, and also I didn't enjoy it that much. There's a tourist spot called the Condor Crossing. There were so many annoying tourists, and I didn't see any condors. And I had to wake up early to take the only bus there. And I was grumpy, because my receptionist gave me the wrong time. I could've slept 30 minutes more. Ugh!
Me with a couple who picked me up

In any event, I hitchhiked, and in 10 minutes I was picked up by a couple from Arequipa. There were no more buses back. The guy just bought a new car. I don't think they ever picked up a hitchhiker.

At first, he was nervous. But I calmed him down by telling him how bored I was by the Condor Crossing and how I wish I had just slept in. And they started laughing. And after awhile, they enjoyed talking.

See? I told you guys before, you have to pay when you hitchhike. And I always pay with my conversations and stories. He seemed fascinated I saw so much around the world and in Peru. They asked me more questions about Korea than the United States. I wonder why.

I told him that he could see a lot to and to watch The Motorcycle Diaries, about how Che Guevara traveled South America cheaply. I hope he does, and it inspires him to do it too.

After coming back into town, I walked to a hot spring two hours away. It was really nice. It was really hot and outside it was really cold. So, the contrast of environments made for a rich and awesome bath. And I saw an Andean Duck flying and hovering just above the river. That was cool. So no condors. But I saw an Andean Duck.

(It did cross my mind to hunt it and eat it. Oh, I miss duck. Although the food is good in Peru, they can't cook duck. Their national dish, Arroz con Pato (Rice with Duck), isn't really that good. They don't make use of the fatty duck skin to bring out the best in the duck.)

After my bath, I returned to the village and had some Alpaca Stew, cooked by a local mountain woman. That was interesting.

Another day, I also had some good fried chicken there for dinner too.

I went back to Arequipa. I got a haircut there. Post a picture soon. I paid $2 for it.

Other than that, I wish I could have stayed longer in the area. But I had some people to meet and my time ran out.

Canyon in the back.
Grumpy from waking up too early.

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