Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Journey to Arequipa

After campong in Chala at the Puerto Inca ruins, Zack and I strapped on our bags and headed out for another day of walkign along the road. We had a 10 km hike to make it to the nest town of Chala, where we needed to get our bus to the next major city to which we were heading; Arequipa. Finally, we were headed to a modern sity and were ready for all the comforts the city´s cheapest hostel had to offer.

We managed to flag down a combi after only 3km, and he dropped us off directly outside the bus office. We booked the overnight bus and dropped off our bags in the sation office. We spent the day buying supplies for the 10 hour bus ride and looking for chinese food. Chala was a fairly large though unimpressive town, without any distinguishable center or cultural attractions. Set on the precipice of an immense cliff 100 meters back from the crashing tides of the Pacific, we were incredibly surprised to find absoutely zero beach infrastructure along the several kilometer long shore front. What could have been a breathtaking beach metropolis set on a gorgeous ocean cove was in fact an unclean 2-story sprawl, with the backs of crumbling buildings spilling waste water and garbage onto a cold grey beach littered with the rotting carcasses of dogs, cows, and sealions. Zack observed that the state of disrepair in the city was reminiscant of Dresden 1945.

While waiting for the bus, my attention was caught by an absolutely horrible music video DVD blasting out of a nearby shop. Clarisa Delgado, cumbia extraordinaire, was calling to me. I fell in love and bought the DVD! It is only googling her now that I have learned her sister was killed in Lima, and the convicted suspect was served a 30 year sentence. So yay, I am glad that I supported the family.

After a miserable night on the bus, we arrived in Arequipa and checked in at our hostel, The Point at 5am. They were great, and let us go to sleep in out beds without charging us for the night.

More to come...
Arequipa, Toro Muerto Petroglyphs, Colca CaƱon trek, Cuzco, Inti Rhymi festival and the sacrifice of a live unblemished black llama to the sun, Salkantay trek to Macchu Picchu, Sacred Valley

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