Tuesday, August 10, 2010
...And so my time in Cusco came to an end. I hugged the fam goodbye and hopped on the night bus. My next long-term stop? The rainforest outside of Iquitos. But first I decided to spend a few days in Arequipa, Peru's second largest city and a hub for some of the country's most popular treking.
I arrived in Arequipa early in the morning. El Misti (5,822 m), one of the volcanoes near the city, looked unreal in its massiveness as we pulled into the bus station at dawn.
I was tired and needed a place to stay, so I asked a cab driver to take me to a cheap hostel. He took me to one.
I was greeted by a nice enough fellow by the name of Nacho. I felt bad for dragging Nacho out of bed at this hour. Nacho's breathe smelled like a butthole that morning. Things were never quite right between us.
It was a pretty comfortable hostel right near the center of the city. This may have been a mistake. The city of Arequipa is large, busy and polluted. The pollution really bothered me. I thought it was even worse than Lima. A Lima cab driver has since informed me that I'm full of shit. Either way it was bad.
The city is also beautiful, mainly because of the aforementioned volcanoes that rise above the skyline. It's charming, especially for a big city, but without these mountains Arequipa would be in serious danger of sucking.
When I left the states, I decided to pretend like I was McGiver and hide cash in a few different places within my stuff. Most of it got stolen in Arequipa. It was either some Argentinians or shit-breathe Nacho that did it. I'll never know so it's not worth speculating further.
Despite these setbacks, I had a cheap room to myself and a few days to enjoy Arequipa. I hit the town, looking to book a few treks and find a delicious fruit juice to drink...