After returning from the “Colca Canyon”, we still had the evening to explore the busy streets of Arequipa. While Bastian and I were waiting for Madalina, who involuntarily got a two hour guitar lesson from her roommate, we were having a look at the different happenings around the central square: There was a small gathering for “Earth hour”, which was not really effective, as all the lights of the city remained on and their candles were constantly extinguished by the wind.
And then there was a march of the soccer fans of the local team, shouting and lighting fireworks as if it was a match day, which it wasn’t. We couldn’t find out what they were celebrating, but it surely was fascinating. When they were gone, Madalina finally arrived and we went for some Chinese food and afterwards for Peruvian drinks, like “Pisco Sour” and “Chilcano”, at a French restaurant.
The next day we had planned to go on a free walking tour, but the guides seemed to be a bit unorganized, as none of them showed up. Instead, we went to the market for a second breakfast. The freshly made juices are just amazing and with a free refill it’s the perfect fruit serving for the day. And we also got to try the “Queso helado”, which is not actually frozen cheese but homemade ice-cream with cinnamon, a desert that Arequipa is famous for.
In the afternoon we tried to join a different free walking tour. This time it worked and we discovered the northern part of the city, which we hadn’t seen before. After a quick stop at the “Mundo Alpaca”, a museum for alpacas and alpaca products, we continued across the river to the viewpoint of Yanahuara. It lies a bit elevated and allows for a good view over Peru’s second biggest city.
Last but not least we wanted to check the quality of Peruvian hairdressers – Madalina and Bastian wanted to get a haircut, while I could use a beard trimming. Although most hairdressers are closed on Sundays, we did manage to find some open ones. They were hidden in a little passage and were cornerstore and hairdresser in one. Madalina and Bastian gave it a try, but I was a bit more skeptical and decided to go for the men’s hairdresser a few houses down the road. While Bastian and I were happy with the result, Madalina wasn’t, although it looked perfectly fine to us.
Afterwards it was time to part: Madalina and Bastian took a bus to the coast and I was headed for the airport. I had decided to fly back to Lima to avoid any problems with flooded roads, like friends had experienced on that route a few days earlier. And even with an hours delay it was still much faster, as it also saved me the 17-hour bus ride, which it would have been otherwise.