So to the ‘comfortable’ night bus to Arequipa. The seats did recline quite some way but you couldn’t put your feet under the seat in front as they had these foot bins which I didn’t find very comfortable. Ended up with one leg in the footbin amd the other in the aisle. They were showing the film Bridesmaids on until about midnight but still couldn’t get much sleep. Was perhaps finally drifting off when they put on ther film Horrible Bosses at 5am! They then started bringing breakfast and 2nd breakfast through. Jeremy was still somehow sleeping so the stewardess woke him up and told him to put this seat forward!
So we got in about 8am. The plan was to have breakfast amd then go on an orientation tour before free time in the afternoon. I was tired though so I skipped that and went to bed until lunchtime. I got up about 1pm and then went for a wander. Went in the cathedral which has not been very lucky having suffered 11 earthquakes and 2 fires. The last earthquake in 2001 destroyed part of one of the towers but they have rebuilt it now. It’s not very even on the roof though. Managed not to trip up the steps but walked into a bell instead. Ouch.
In the evening, we went for a meal as a group. I had alpaca in red wine which was delicious. They had a local band come and play for a bit. It was the night before Tuten’s 40th birthday so we went to an Irish pub for some drinks. They had happy hour on Pisco sunrise which tasted a bit like rum punch. Also tried a Pisco sour which I didn’t like much. Then Tuten bought everyone Tequilas for his birthday. They were about 3 times the size of UK shots so could tell it wasn’t going to end well. Then someone started talking to an English guy called Robin who is a big shot in Peruvian property (or at least that’s what he wanted us to think). He persuaded us to go to a club nearby and then he bought a bottle of vodka and cans of red bull and left it on the bar for us all. We got back to the hotel about 4am.
We then had to get up and leave at 8.30am for Colca Canyon. Unfortunately I was sitting at the front of the minibus as we had a local guide who kept turning round every 5 minutes. ‘Did you know there are 4000 species of potatos in Peru and 100 species of corn’. Marvellous. ‘On your left you can see the local cement factory’. After about an hour of this I had to put my headphones in to drown him out so sadly I will never find out why it doesn’t rain in the desert. Even then the headphones weren’t enough as he was soon waving a glossy information sheet about showing the 4 species of Peruvian camelids. I have a horrible feeling that every guide on this tour will talk about the 4 species of peruvian camelids. Why can’t Peru have 4 species of Lions instead. Anyway so you have to know as well, they are Llamas, Alpacas, Guanacos and Vicunas.
By the time we got to the hotel most people had headaches whether this is from the booze or the altitude it was hard to say. We had a rest and then 5 of us went out for a walk with our guide. We climbed quite a long way up after having a lengthy lecture on agriculture. Did you know that farmers sell some of their produce at market for money and then use the money to buy other things they need. There was some slightly more interesting stuff on how the locals still go to the Shaman for medical help as the doctor is very expensive