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Arequipa, Day 2

Written on: Sunday August 26th, 2007

A journal entry from: Bolivia, Peru, and the Galapagos!

Upon return to Arequipa, we went for dinner at a traditional Ariquepena style restaurant with terrible service (though it was actually some of the best service we had received in Peru to this point). First Louise's soup came out after everyone had already finished theirs, then the same happened to my main dish. As typical, the entire dinner experience took about two hours, which most of us were tired of by now. Also, it was starting to really annoy most of us that our guide would only take us to restaurants where she could eat for free (because she brings a group of gringos). Some of the restaurants have been wonderful, but others have been terrible. And she is always happy to order a starter, a main dish, plus two cocktails because she doesn't have to pay. Sigh...

After dinner, we headed to Calle San Francisco, which is the main bar/club street. We started off at a bar whose walls were plastered with American and British rock bands from the 60s to 90s. After a couple drinks, Louise and tall Sarah (who had been abstaining from drinking) went back to the hotel with our guide and the rest of us headed to another bar. This bar had a plastic bucket hanging above its doorway and it let us five gringas (plus one gringo) cut at the front of the line and pay no cover. Once inside, we learned that the bucket above the door meant that they served cocktails in little plastic buckets, so we decided to order one to split amongst the five of us (and one beer for Richard). Due to some miscommunication, however, we ended up with one bucket for each of us... By this point, none of us really needed any more alcohol, so we sipped them for a bit before heading to the dance floor. Not much was remembered from this point... but we all managed to get home and then wake up this morning with massive hangovers.

I had plans to wake up early and check out some of the museums around Arequipa, including the one for Juanita, a mummy that was found frozen in ice at the top of a mountain, but my hangover prevented any sort of sightseeing (sigh). Louise and I finally left our hotel room at about 2:30 for lunch, did a quick tour around the city streets, and then returned to the hotel. Even though I only saw a glimpse of the city, it was my favorite in Peru. The streets were clean, there were very few gringos, and you could find any western convenience that you wanted.

Our hotel (Hostal Solar) hosted a barbecue on their second floor patio tonight for our dinner. We had four different Peruvian salads (spinach salad, roasted potato salad, plus two others that I forget, but all were spectacular) along with roasted beef and chicken. Meanwhile, we watched the sun set over the city. It was great!!

Unfortunately, after dinner, we had to pack up and head to the bus station for a 9 hour night bus ride to Nazca...