Thursday, February 22nd, 2018
Day 5 of G-Adventures Inca Heartland tour
We drove the night with the Cruz del Sur night bus from Nazca to Arequipa. Road is very curvy and sometimes it feels like the bus is running with 80 kmh over a gravel road. But it is comfortable to sleep (better than airplane eco class) and the bus doesnot stop. At 08:30 am we arrive in Arequipa, the “white city”. It is not very white from the view from the bus.
The map so far:
G Adventures offered optional a
- Santa Catalina Monastery Visit for 60 PEN pP
- Arequipa City and Area Panoramic Bus Tour for 20 USD pP
- Juanita Muesum (Museo Santuarios Andinos) for 60 PEN
We booked nothing of this.
A mini bus takes us from the central bus station to our Hostal Solar. The hostal is inconspicuous, just a wooden door on a base-floor only building and a super tiny door plate.
The rooms will be ready at noon (12:00), until then we get one super dark and fusty room in the basement to leave our luggage there and to change (if we want to). We want to go for breakfast instead. Gladys recommends to go for breakfast to Capriccio Mercaderes. Breakfast is so lala, but coffee is real coffee. So we order some sandwiches. We start to believe that Gladys has a lot of commission agreements. She always “pays” very discreet.
After breakfast we go with the group for a short sight seeing (Gladys is not our “tourguide”, but our tour-CEO, she explains – and explains nothing). We split up at the main plaza (plaza del armas) and continue with adopted Gianni for sightseeing to the cathedral.
The Basilica Cathedral of Arequipa …
… on Plaza del Armas.
We do an english tour in the cathedral for 10 soles per adult (2,6 EUR). Since Gianni answered the question of the girl at the cassa on his age with 16 and made us look like family, he pays only 3 sol and we are are the two adults for the family. So, now we are official family (as it goes to entrance tickets) with three different surnames from two nations. I am told that I have to tip the guide only once for my family (why me? Me, too!!!).
There is a lot of offers to book the cathedral museum together with a city tour for 40 EUR, tourist traps all.
The tour is interesting, the guide speaks excellent english, shows the cathedral, organ, a small museum with catholic artefacts like priests dresses and finally brings us up onto the roof. He explains a lot about earthquakes and rebuilding history of the cathedral and I donot listen. At least the kid learns something … 🙂
The bishop already had yedi guards (they look like dark lords of the sith, but better a sith than no yedi guard).
Renato was here 1999.
We go to Monestary Santa Catalina, a monestary of nuns of the Dominican Second Order.
We pay 2 adult tickets for 40 sol and 1 estudiante younger than 18: 10 sol (22 EUR total).
You can pay if you bring them dinners.
Somehow they are sharp on our batteries. Ecologically commendable.
We try to get an english speaking guide. We insist all 5 minutes and are told “in 2 minutes”. After the third time the announced interval increases to “in 5 minutes”. We decide to go by ourselfes.
And suddenly it happened again, first i catched the light fang das licht.
And then it hit me full frontal
We walked on, enlighted, our temporary son was culturally not amused.
We went back to the hotel for the 13:00 Arequipa city tour we had included.
The picked us with a minibus from the hotel and brought us to our big green panoramic bus.
1. Stop: Yanahuara Main Square: A market square, there is a viewpoint over Arequipa, we buy icecream, check the beautiful volcanos (behind clouds), and the beautiful church (unfortunately closed), not a must see.
For telling bad jokes “Chief of looking not guilty” was put behind bars.
We continued our drive to a local farm: 2. Stop: Mirador del Carmen Alto – buy some local farm goods, try some local fruit.
Back in the bus we drove to the 3. stop: Incalpaca a mini zoo and an alpaca factory: buy some alpaca stuff:
Back in the bus we pass buy some very important buildings, fields and drive to a former mayors house. No shop there. We are confused. Why do we stop here?
Stop 4: mansion del fundador: A 17th-century mansion that was once owned by Arequipa’s founder Garcí Manuel de Carbajal. It has been restored with original furnishings and paintings. It has its own chapel.
Last stop: Molino de Sabadia: A watermill built in 1785 where they explain how they milled corn with water power. With some Alpacas, you can do shopping or horsebackriding. We go to the watermill. When I was 6 years i constructed more complicated technology out of my lego. They told us it is a great place for picnickers.
The have llamas to and a fighting bull who likes being scratched:
Then we drove home in our nice 401 room (which seems to be the backup room, which they simply built on top of the hosteria, 4th floor, no elevator, not fixed heating, 5 walls unheated, 3 directions no balustrade, very cozy):
Good luck we got a mobile heating:
We went for collective dinner with the tour people. It was complicated to get something gluten-free, non-fat, non-diary, …
Llama medaillions. Fair. I am so easy, just give me meat.