From Lima we took the plane to Arequipa which is normally a one hour trip. Well… in our case it took us five hours because the flight was delayed for four very long hours. I did get to know the airport in Lima very well.
So unfortunately we arrived very late in Arequipa and missed our city tour which was planned for the afternoon. Our mood wasn’t that good as you can imagine arriving so late in a city we didn’t know. However our hotel and later our dinner compensated a bit of our disappointement. We stayed at La Hosteria which was a very nice hotel, with which I fell in love at first sight.
Having stored away our luggage we headed into town for dinner. Do go to Zig Zag at least once. It might not be the cheapest option but is a real treat. The city really impressed me and I am definitely going back there exploring more than just the inner town by night.
From Arequipa we headed off the next morning to the Colca Valley. We took a small bus tour with a lovely guide who made the six hours drive pass very quickly. On top of his explanations the breathtaking landscape made this day to one of my favourites.
We spotted viqunas, wild lamas, and alpacas grazing on the andean plateau. Later on this trip we passed the highest point of our journey at 4830m above sea level. I have to admit, that I was a bit worried before our journey about how well I would handle the altidute. Listening to our guides, drinking loads of water, breathing deeply and just relaxing, I felt well all the time. The first four days on high levels I had constant headaches though which then suddenly disappeared.
Another thing which fights altitude sickness, is drinking a lot of coca tea or even better a tea made out of three different andean herbes.
Next to Chivay a town at the beginning of the valley, we had lunch in a very touristic hotel. However, this meal was really nice because our guide taught us to make our own peruvian starter out of very solid potatoe mash and some tuna, vegetables and mayonnaise.
Apparently the local women made this dish during the war to keep up the strenght of their men.