arequipa's anniversary day
we arrived in arequipa on the 15th of august - which we were soon to discover is the worst possible day one could choose to enter the city! this is because it's arequipa's celebration day, and it seemed the whole population were crowded into the plaza de armas to watch the parades and processions. it was so chock full of people around the square, that with out big backpacks it was a nightmare to squeeze through to get to our hotel door. the streets around were blocked as well, so the taxi dropped us off a few blocks from the main square - nightmare!!
anyway arequipa's day is a spectacle not to be missed. if you can be in town ALREADY by then i can guarantee a fun and exciting time. starting around 11am, this parade goes on all day, and well into the night. all the locals come out, and there are many floats and musicians, and famous locals who come out to celebrate. by midnight the streets were still packed to the throngs, people drinking and celebrating 460+ years of the arequipa good life.
the next morning was hilarious... drunk people laid all over the plaza de armas floor. someone taking a leak against the cathedral wall. streets covered in drunks and vomit - proof of one huge awesome party!!!
Great traditional Peruvian food
This restaurant is a nice place for a dinner. It is a dimly lit place which can serve as a good place for a romantic dinner. There is traditional folkloric music every evening starting around 7:30-8:00PM. They move throughout the restaurant setting up near the fireplace in the back of the restaurant. The crew really seemed like they wanted to please. I think they were short-handed when I was there, but definitely tried to compensate for it by moving very quickly. I had pastel de papa, which is a mouthwatering combination of potatoes, cream and cheese. For my entree I had chupe de camarones, which is a shrimp soap. This was good also, althought I was full from the pastel.
Pastel - S\. 8.00
Chupe de camarones - S\. 20
Cuba Libre - S\. 5.00
Colca Canyon is an amazing canyon of the Colca River in southern Peru, about 160 km off Arequipa. It is supposedly more than twice as deep as the Grand Canyon in the United States. But, as the canyon's walls are not as vertical as those of the Grand Canyon, and the marketing department of Peru's Tourism is busy with promoting all the other stupendously incredible sights of Peru, Colca Canyon is perhaps thus not as famous as the Grand Canyon. Only those interested in Peru get to hear of it and those interested in adventure travel get to hike part of it.
I have spent, in total, more than 14 months in South America visiting many amazing natural sights and it is hard to say (and probably unfair) which is more amazing than another, but Colca Canyon definitely ranks way up high in my list.
The Colca Valley is studded with colourful little Andean towns where the local people still wear interesting traditional costumes, maintain ancestral traditions and continue to cultivate the terraced mountains that were from pre-Inca times.
I must add the traditional dresses here around Chivay, a town in the valley, are the most interesting I had seen so far! Their tops are embroidered elaborately around the collars and sleeves, and the ladies wear another overly embroidered vests. Their skirts are long, all the way to the ankles, and also embroidered crazily at the hemline. Meanwhile, their hats… gosh, every inch is embroidered as well!! There are two types of hats… one for the indigenous group around Chivay and another, around Cabanaconde.
Colca Canyon - Scenery
The scenery along the way is quite similar to the US Southwest. Desert and cacti. One major difference is the mountains and volcanoes that peak at the background. Snow-covered peak and desert is a bizarre combination.
Alpacas are all over the place, like the pigs and sheeps in the sierra.
Alcapas, lamas et vigognes ...
"Stef reporter and the epileptic Alpaca"
This was a strange animal, mix of a lama and a sheep (how does nature work...) that Stef reporter couldn't miss !!!
Stef reporter et l'Alpaca epileptique
C'est un animal, mixture de lama et de mouton (ca fait n'importe quoi, un lama) que Stef reporter ne pouvait pas manquer !!
"Head of Alpaca - Tete d'Alpaca"
A new slang word to put in your vocabulary ...
Un nouveau gros mot a rajouter a votre vocabulaire...
"The lama - Le lama"
He did not spit on us !
Il ne nous a pas crache a la tete !!
"The lama's left side - La face cachee du lama"
"Little lama - Petit lama"
Looks like a vicuña, and you won't get another picture of such an animal... So, please just imagine...
On dirait une vigogne, mais on n'en a pas en photo, donc un peu d'imagination, SVP !
"The cattle - Le troupeau"
They all live together in the vallee next to Chivay... Ready for a rave party ?
Ils vivent ensemble pres de Chivay... Prets pour une rave party sauvage ?
"Stef reporter observing the cattle"
Trying to act as an Alpaca, but will she sell her black whool at the same price ???
Stef reporter observe le troupeau, essaie de s'y fondre, mais reussira-t-elle a vendre sa laine noire au meme prix ?