We paid for the baller bus from Nazca to Arequipa so managed to get a decent amount of sleep, and spend the night in relative comfort.
Dinner was provided and they even had a vegetarian option (left)!
My stomach still wasn’t great after Huacachina so I decided not to eat for a while. In a show of solidarity Em had a very plain boring breakfast, while I drank my water and watched on.
After breakfast we popped to the alpaca wool shop disguised as a museum. We saw a bit about the different types of wool, and the process of making jumpers and things.
We’re fully not bored of llamas/alpacas yet, they’re the best!
Later we went to the square to wait for the “free” walking tour and Em was drawn in by some pretty stones being sold by a fun little guy who spoke great English. He gets stones from places and uses pliers to bend wires and make jewellery.
Pleased with Emma’s new jewellery we made our way over to the tour but I guess Arequipa isn’t the most touristy city, so we were the only ones there. Unperturbed, our guide Brendan (he has a YouTube channel) gave us the full tour, which happened to include a second visit to the llama wool shop disguised as a museum.
Paying for the “free” walking tour when there’s just two of you is a bit annoying. Poor Brendan put in all the work but only had us to contribute, and poor us felt bad so this was our most expensive city tour yet!
The next day we visited Museo Santuarios Andinos, because they have an actual frozen mummy that was found on a mountain. We first watched a VHS about how an explorer found the mummy and why it was there: Basically the Inca’s believed that if they took a young girl, about 12 years old, who they considered beautiful, take her up a mountain, as close to the sun as possible, and smash a rock on her head until she died, life would be good. And I suppose it worked for a while, but then a load of Spaniards turned up and started building churches on all their sacred sites… So maybe not great long term.
It was actually pretty interesting but you weren’t allowed to take photos and that always makes me sad. The mummy, sat in it’s weird icey freezer, was fully gross but fully awesome. All old and rotten and covered in ice.
During this visit we also came to the “realisation” that the Incan Empire was really not that long ago! 1438–1533 according to Wikipedia. I guess it should have been obvious because while they were bludgeoning children to please the gods, Europeans were building ships and claiming foreign lands as their own. Neither is great, but our ignorant selves just thought the Inca’s were ancient… They weren’t.
Next, as we have done in a few cities now, we used our knowledge gained from the walking tour to revisit a few sites and see some other stuff that looked interesting.
The great thing about this second tour is that it was run by Emma’s Easy Mirador Tours™ and led by Emma. Another great thing is that it was a specialist mirador (lookout) tour!!!
Something I’ve never managed, or tried, to find during our time in South America is a mirador with no uphill, a lookout that is lower than were you started. Well Em found one!
She also took me to all of the most important and interesting sites. Including this pyramid!
And this totum pole!
This viewpoint was a highlight
Being a tour guide is tough so we stopped off for Emma to get a bottle of “Smart”, it didn’t work…
We also wanted to do this during the walking tour but were too embarrassed…
On the way back I bought a new hat. I’ve never liked my other hat so I bought this fancy new one. It’s plain red and can look a bit “Make America Great Again” from some angles, but it also had the Nazca lines on it… #tourist
We finished this fun filled day with a coffee and a hot chocolate. I love a hot chocolate but they’re so hit and miss, this was a hit. A big massive hit! It did lead me to a realisation though; that this kind of hot chocolate needs a name to differentiate itself from lesser hot chocolate drinks. I’m open to ideas but a hot chocolate that consists of melted chocolate, like from a dream, needs to have a higher standing!
We both really enjoyed Arequipa! We didn’t do loads during our time there but got to know the city a bit and really liked it. It was never too hectic, looked pretty, and had a good amount of stuff to see and do. On another day there would have been good mountain views too but we weren’t lucky enough to see them…
Ever thought that a Big Mac didn’t contain enough burgers? I’m just going to leave this one here… My stomach didn’t thank me