After saying goodbye to mum and our sister Stine, dad, Laurz, Caz, Sal and I went to the airport to catch our flight to Arequipa. Arequipa is arguably Peru's second biggest most attractive city after Cusco. At 2400m above sea level, Arequipa has a picturesque backdrop 'El Misti' a large dormant volcano. Arequipa has beautiful architecture, characterised by the white 'sillar' stone of which most buildings are made.
When we arrived at the airport we were greeted by what I think we're meant to be intimidating drug dogs but were super cute Labradors and golden retrievers. With two retrievers at home and missing them loads I went straight for him. In Australia there's just absolutely no way you would be allowed pat the drug dogs let alone get a picture with one! Which is exactly what I did!
That night we all had dinner and then went to bed. Caz and I made a late decision to hit the town and what a good decision it was. Our friends from Iguazu/Salta were In Arequipa too so we went to their hostel bar for drinks. A few too many drinks and shots later we were dancing on the bar and well on the way to not making it to our walking tour the next morning.
Deciding it was time to go, and with the bar closing and everyone heading to a club around the corner we went to get a cab, but found ourselves walking to the club, oops.
A couple more hours later, more drinks and dancing we decided we definitely needed to get a cab now. Hearing stories about unsafe fake taxis and being warned by the lovely lady at our front desk of the hotel for over 30mins before we left, we had promised her we would get the bar to order us one. Well that didn't happen and we found ourselves scouting the streets and deciding who would be the lucky one to take us home based on god knows what 'nup! he doesn't look that nice'….'definitly NOT him'… i dont like the color of his shirt'…We finally made a decision and were in the cab with no destination. Bugger. We had forgotten to write down the address and the driver didnt know our hotel so hear we were playing drunk charades trying to explain that it is under the metal bridge in Spanish. With the driver assuring us he understood we started heading in the complete wrong direction. Suddenly starving we were in desperate need of McDonald's. Here I was thinking McDonald is a universally known word- apparently not. After much desperate explanation about how hungry we were and using our Spanish dictionary and finger signs of the 'Big M', we settled for pollo y papas fritas- chicken and chips. We were stoked. Somehow making it back to the hotel we scrambled to our room, we finished our food and decided there was no way we were going to make our walking tour!
After waking up well and truly after the walking tour had started we decided we needed food so we grabbed a lazy cab Into town to our favourite creperie. Halfway through lunch the others walk in and tell us all about the amazing walking tour. Ofcourse it was. Next on the agenda was horseriding.
After many online review searching we were happy with our choice and headed to the ranch for our horseriding adventure. What an adventure it was. It all started a little dodgily with the creepy looking South American guy with his very dirty tracky pants and T-shirt that showed his overweight midrift explaining in broken English about the horses. Hmmm. Next he explained about the 2 'crazy horses' who were girl horses and explained that girl horses are more aggressive demonstrating by using Caz as an example that women don't like to be touched (yeh- wrong candidate mate!). He wasn't off to a good start. Jumping on one of the 'crazy horses' and barely able to control it moving back and forth and clearly unhappy, we were all hoping it wasn't going to be ours.
He then explains that the girl horses and boy horses can't ride together to the more experienced riders will go on the girl horses and leave before. Great so we won't all be rinding together! Seeing as sal and I have ridden a horse maybe twice, we are deemed 'experienced' and find ourselves heading off with a 1000 pound beast under our butts and a 16 year old non English speaking shy guide with us. Nervously waving bye to the others, we thought we would be in for the hard time.
When sal and I hit the turn around spot, we worked out by our guys brief Spanish explanation that we would be waiting for the others here. 5 minutes passed, then 10 and then 15 and we were starting to wonder what was happening, when we saw dad and the creepy guy coming up the path. The closer they got we realised Caz and Laurz were not with them. Oh dear. Apparently after we left they all got on their horses, and as they started to walk out of the ranch, Lauras horse kicked dads horse In the face and it turned intro a free for all with them all bucking and rearing up kicking one another- being screamed at by the guy 'get off get off' the girls somehow managed to climb off while the horses were rearing and fighting and ran for cover. Meanwhile dad manages to get off aswell, and the guy struggles to bring them under control.
The creepy guy tried to make excuses about why it happened but there was no way the girls were getting back on the horses, and I don't blame them you couldn't get me on it again! Meanwhile my horse was clearly used to being ridden- not! Anytime I tried to kick it to get up come pace it kicked its back legs up and tried to buck me off- I guess this is why anytime I asked our 16 year old guide if we could go faster he shook his head and simply said 'no'. Well this is fun!
Meanwhile while the girls were bored to tears waiting for us to come back they explored the guys house.
We got back and could see that the girls just wanted to leave. Offering to take us out for drinks tonight (yuck!) we politely declined and got into a cab as quick as possible. Here's a picture of dad, the guy and his horse.
We all decided that we needed to get changed, have a nice dinner and drown our sorrows! The crepisimo restaurant has a sister restaurant 'Zig Zag' which had amazing reviews so we thought we would check it out.
Ordering just two starters to share to begin with, we never made it to mains! The food was absolutely incredible and I would recommend it to anyone visiting Arequipa as a must! We had a fish platter and meat platter which each came with 3 different sides and sauces. The others even tried alpaca!
While having lunch In a little garden inside the convent, we saw hummingbirds, but the little buggers are too quick for me so I'm yet to get a photo!
Later on we decided to redeem the previous days horseriding disaster with a two hour bus around the exterior of Arequipa. What started out positive, turned out to be 5+ hours of disaster. But that's a story for another time!
Another night on the town with these rad people! And happy birthday to Sam!
Devastatingly it was now time to say bye to Caz at the airport- she was leaving us! And dad and Laurz only had one more week with us in the Amazon before they too abandoned us! On the up side- dad found something he loves out of Peru- Pisco!