One part party, one part the essence of Route 1, two parts amazing, with a dash of scary

So far so good for this white girl in Peru.  I had a bit of good luck to start my trip.  I sat next to a great Peruvian woman from San Antonio, Sabrina, and her son on the plane ride into Lima.  After our flight landed at 10:30pm, I ended up going with Sabrina and Jason and their cousins to another one of Sabrina´s cousins´60th birthday party.  It was awesome.  They sang, they danced, they sat around in a circle and told jokes, and they served awesome food.  It was a good thing to see the Peruvian culture first-hand from the get-go. Very nice people; it was refreshing to see such a large group of family members gathered together, having fun, being close.  I was super tired when I finally got to my hostel after 3am. 

Manuel´s bday - Lima

Manuel´s bday - Lima

Thanks to my new friend Nadia who took pictures

 

 

 

 

Bday party

Bday party

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
I spent Saturday exploring Lima and preparing for my 16 hour bus ride.  Lima is okay, not the place I was looking forward to seeing most, and so I´m not bummed that I didn´t adore it.  It´s a whole lotta city and not a whole lotta charm.  Good and cheap food, though! 
 
I checked out of my room in enough time to take a cab to the bus station to get my bus. I fell asleep as soon as I could in my seat, and when I woke up at 6am on Sunday morning, I looked out my window, and about two hundred feet away from me I saw huge waves breaking and folding up onto the beach.  What a great surprise to wake up to!  I spent the next three hours looking at the window at the water, on a road that quickly reminded me of Route 1 near Carmel, but with higher cliffs, closer drop-offs, worse drivers, and some breathtaking valleys.  Those three hours of viewing that alone were worth the bus ticket.  By the time I arrived Arequipa, mid-day Sunday, I was glad that I made it alive and glad that I got to see that part of Peru that I wouldn´t have if I hadn´t taken a bus.
cliffs o´death

cliffs o´death

Yes, this was taken from my bus window.

spraying his crops

spraying his crops

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Arequipa is exactly what I envisioned a beautiful, tranquil, old town in South America to be.  Most of the buildings are spanish colonial, and the monastery I toured yesterday was built in the 1500´s.  On top of that, in Arequipa´s backdrop stands three volcanoes, all of which are over 20,000 feet.  It´s Peru´s second largest city, so there are a lot of restaurants, people, and nightlife.  Some of which caters to tourists, although there aren´t that many tourists here now, but not enough where it doesn´t keep it´s natural feel.  This is a place I would live, and I want to stay longer!  My hotel is the former home of an archbishop, and it´s lovely. 
Arequipa hotel entrance

Arequipa hotel entrance

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

View from center of town

View from center of town

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