Picked Up By the Police
I arrived at the ungodly hour of 1:30am after a delayed bus ride through the desert from Nazcar to find all the hotels and inns boarded up and locked down for the night. I walked around Plaza De Armas trying in vain to find a bed knowing full well the danger of a gringo ladden with luggage trouncing about deserted but well lit streets. A police car drove by and were nice enough to escort me to a hotel nearby warning me of the banditos lurking around.
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Arequipa Salchicheria Alemana Restautant 1
Restaurant location in Arequipa 137 San Francisco
An organized purse snatching ring resides at this restaurant located near the Plaza de Armas. Waitresses position patrons near trash can and hope to sneak valuables out with the trash. Management seems aware but is doing nothing to stop it. We have confirmed others aside from ourselves who have been victims and restaurant claims thefts happen all the time but claim no responsibility. DON'T BECOME A VICTIM
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Arequipans LOVE to Protest
We read in the guidebooks that Arequipans are known for their protesting so we thought it amusing when on the first day we saw a small group of protesters in the main square protesting the high gas prices in Peru. The gas at the time (July 05) was about $3 a gallon and considering that the gas price in the US at the time was the same I can understand their anger. The typical Peruvuan make quite a bit less a year then the average American.
As the week wore on the protesting escalated to the point where all the roads in and out of the city were blocked either by groups of rioters burning tires and throwing rocks at anyone trying to drive through the barricades or by broken glass, large boulders and cactus. Now since we happened to be returning from Colca Canyon at the time this posed a problem.
To make a long story short after driving in the desert for hours trying to get around the rioters we decided to walk through the barricades instead. It ended up being about a 6h delay in returning to our hotel. It was really a hairy and could have been a potentially dangerous situation.
My advice is check the travel warnings issued by your country for travel and make an educated decision on whether you want to tralel here. Currently (as of Aug 08) there is a travel warning issued for the region of Arequipa due to violent protesting.
Mujeres Policías / Police Women
En Arequipa están substituyendo a los hombres policías por mujeres ya que las consideran más honrradas
In Arequipa they are changing the police men with women as they are considered more honests
small Taxis or ticos
Please take a taxi with a phone number specially at night. This are really secure taxis, don't get confuse with those having a sign with publicity.
Most of the robberies happens at night and when people takes a tico.
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If you ever do attend church, you might want to dress very conservatively (if you're a woman). Apparentely, the apparel of my sister and I was scandalous and we were first told how we could possibly let ourselves go into church dressed as such! Then we were escorted to a corridor where a lady insisted that we wear a huge overcoat to cover ourselves. I guess my sisters long sleeve shirt with a skirt past her knee, and my summer dress accompanied with a long sleeve blouse was the equivalent of being naked in the states! I'm not sure if this is the norm for all churches, but this was a rather large church (of which i have forgotten the name, sorry!)
Some sneaky Peruvians!
If you find yourself at a big fiesta with a big crowd, keep your eyes open for anything! Some times the strangest things occur, like being in such a crowded spot that as you walk by someone grabs your derriere and you have no idea who did it (I know from personal experience!), or you see a kid light a lady's ponytail on fire. Whatever the circumstance, be on your feet so you can say "OYE!" or "hey lady, your hair's on fire!"
If you happen to be downtown in "el centro" in the main park during independence day (July 28) while they are setting off fireworks, I would hide under the balcony like i did because when I went, they shot the fireworks from the balcony and big chunks of fireworks were falling on people. So that really freaked me out!! This was in 2000, I'm not sure if they still do this, but if they do remember what I told ya!
Run Doggies Run!!!
If you do go walking around other than downtown, and into a residential zone, you may notice that many people keep their dogs on their roofs. And some how, (and I dont know how those sneaky dogs), there are stray dogs on the street. Be weary of them!
One minute you can feel great, then the next lightheaded. That's what happened to me one day while taking a walk downtown, when i began to feel very lightheaded and had to stop in a random restaurant for some water. This could be contributed to the altitude, but mostly I believe it was dehydration because of the amount of sun I was receiving. Be sure to drink plenty of water as the sun is fierce. And wear sunblock!
It is advisable not to drink the tap water directly from the faucet. Instead buy bottled water or boil the water first. If you are particularly sensitive to this, it is best to avoid no-brand popsicles sold on the street or salads washed with tap.
Even though this may be an obvious tip it is still good to keep in mind. Make sure that you have valuables well hidden, or not with you at all ( like necklaces,watches) especially at night. Robbers are often known to work in groups.
What IS that???
If you come across a menu and you see a dish with the name "cuy" in it and decide to order it, when the waiter comes back and brings you your order and you sit there thinking, "man that looks like a cooked up ol' guinea pig or something", that's because it IS! So if you're not the adventurous type, I would advise you to steer clear of the cuy menus. :P
Uncertain flight schedule
When I visited to Peru.I planed to go to Cuzco from Lima.
I reached the airport in Lima,I already had a ticket from Lima to Cuzuo. But It's stopped.
I asked information desk of the flight company.but It was no use to doing that.
But I hit a idea which is to change route.
I went to Arequipa and next change the plane to Cuzuco.
Ofcourse it wassame price!
It was in 1998.
Height Illness or "Soroche"
Although Arequipa is not that high above sea level (the city is 2335 meters a.s.l) comparing with other places like Cusco and Puno, some tourists would feel the "height illness" (more altitude, less oxygen). If you feel your head like spinning round, you get easily tired, breathless with palpitations, and (just in extreme cases) throwing up with fever, you've got the "soroche".
To prevent it, just after arriving to Arequipa drink a cup of coca tea (all hotels and hostels serves them), do things calmly and have light meals at least in the first two days. If you do some hiking-trekking-adventure activity that implies any type of fast ascend, please take with you some lemon candy or, better, "cocamelos" (candy made with coca leaves). And, finally, if you get the low or moderated soroche, just REST!! and drink your coca tea. For extreme cases, go to the doctor.
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