Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Hasta la frontera - Arequipa and Tacna.

Up until now, I've only shown you all snippets of my trip down to the south of Peru and over the border to Chile. Thus I figured I should probably fill in all the gaps with everything else I saw and experienced in Arequipa and Tacna!

Arequipa was first on the list - 'la ciudad blanca', or the 'white city', as it is known in Spanish. Arequipa is an absolutely stunning city, with a lot of Spanish colonial era architecture and beautiful surrounds. The city is guarded by El Misti, a huge snow-capped volcano that overlooks the city and is visible from the Plaza de Armas. Whilst in Arequipa, I took a city tour (which was definitely worth my while, as not all of the attractions were within walking distance), strolled around the Plaza de Armas, tried queso helado (cheese ice-cream), bought waaaay too many things in the many markets, got lost in the labyrinth of Santa Catalina and tried rocoto relleno (hot pepper filled with steak, cheese and other bits and pieces).

Tacna was next - though only a small city, I actually really enjoyed what it had to offer. We found a fantastic pizzeria that served so many delicious cakes and lattes that even complied with my high coffee standards! It was there that we also discovered the mouthgasm that is a pisco shake - essentially the Peruvian alcohol, mixed with lucuma (a type of Peruvian fruit), ice-cream, milk, and real whipped cream. We also were told about a secondhand market called Miami up in the slums, and it was a thrifter's paradise! It was essentially 10 streets filled with stands of everything and anything for less than 5 soles (about A$2). I only spent about A$12 all up and I bought more clothes there than I have in my entire year in Peru! Unfortunately, we didn't realise the sheer size of the market and only left 2 hours to explore it all, which was by far too little time. 

All in all, the south of Peru was incredibly beautiful and I wish I'd had more time down there to explore! Not to worry though, because tomorrow I'm off to Cuzco, Machu Picchu, Puno and Lake Titicaca - I'm pretty damn excited!

Photos by Henry, Ginger, Tami, Nouma and me.

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