Currently I am content in the beautiful city of Arequipa.
I woke up this morning and said goodbye to some new friends as they left for Cabaconde, did yoga and went to a cute little fruiteria where I stocked up on avocado, oranges and bananas.
Background: I left Lima on Tuesday morning. I had a great time in Lima with Claudia, her family and her friends. On Saturday night we went to an electronic music festival called Creamfields where we danced from about 11 until 7 THE NEXT MORNING! Claudia and I went home, had bajona and went to bed at about 8. Yes, the sun was up and the birds were chirping and I was just getting to sleep. I woke up at 5 that evening! Agh! I felt so nocturnal. But it was totally worth it. Thankfully I was able to sleep at about 1 that night and woke up at a normal time the next morning. And thus I was again diurnal :).
This photo is of Claudia´s friend Selina and me before we went to Creamfields.
On Monday Selina and I went to the center of Lima (Claudia had to do homework) and went to a few museums and churches. The most interesting museum we went to were the catacombs under the church of San Francisco. It is estimated that 25,000 people were buried here! There were bones and skulls everywhere! (except for the walkway of course).
That night Claudia´s family celebrated her little sister Alessia´s 13th birthday. We all got together and ate mini sandwiches, truffles and cake. Then the parents sat around the table and talked while Claudia´s brother and sister, two cousins and I played tag and sardines! We all ran around the house and yard like we were 5 years old again. It was so fun! I felt like I was playing with my cousins at a family reunion :).
Tuesday morning I got on a bus and headed to a little oasis in the desert called Huacachina. Ok ok. It was not that simple. I got a a bus and headed to Huacachina? ha! That was Lima, folks. And there are like 5 different bus terminals. I decided to take a taxi to my bus station of choice, Flores. But just before we arrived I realized I had left my flute at Claudia´s house!!!
I bought a hand crafted cedar flute in July and have been attached to it ever since. I actually had my dad help me make a case out of a PVC pipe and my mom sewed a cusioned wrap for it on the inside. And I had my taxi driver take me back to Claudia´s, then back to the bus station because there was no way I was leaving my flute.
So then I got on the bus to Huacachina.
This is Laguna Huacachina! It is great for swimming in and relaxing near.
On the bus I met a German named Michael. We arrived in Huacachina and found a hostel together. Then we met 2 Canadians and one other American who had just met a Dutch girl. And we were all staying in the same hostel. :) That night Michael and I hiked up some dunes and watched the stars. I saw one shooting star. Later on our new ´family´ of six went to a bar where I danced one salsa song with a guy from North Carolina who knew his way around the dance floor. Then we snuck into another hostel and swam in their pool before running back to our hostel and going to sleep.
The next morning we went swimming! Then 3 of us(Michael, Anne the Dutch girl, and I) went into town to buy bus tickets for our group of 6. But the man we needed to buy tickets from was not there and Michael and I were scheduled for a dune buggy tour at 4:30. So we left Anne to buy the tickets and we went on the tour that was only supposed to last an hour and a half.
It was soooo much fun! He is a picture of me in the dune buggy...
We stopped at a few dunes where we strapped on boards and went sandboarding down the dunes! Sandboarding is similar to snowboarding. But it was almost more fun just to lay down on it and fly down the dunes.
In all this fun we semi-forgot about Anne having bought our ticket to go to Arequipa at 7. Long story short we got back to the hostel at about 10 ´till seven, packed 6 people into a taxi with all of our bags and sped to the bus station where we discovered our bus had been delayed an hour. What could we do with an hour???
We busted our a few bags of pasta we had cooked earlier in the day at the hostel. Bags of pasta. A ziploc bag and a regular black plastic bag filled with pasta and butter goodness.
One hitch: no forks.
We just used our mouths. Haha! He all sat around in the station eating pasta straight from the bag! Here´s a picture:
Then I cut open a few mangos and before we knew it the bus had arrived. Oh yes, and it was a 12 hour ride to Arequipa. All through the night. And we had 2 bags of spaghetti and were all covered from head to toe in sand. I slept uncomfortably but surprisingly well. We arrived in Arequipa at about 8 the next morning where we showered and hung out at the hostel for a while.
Then Anne and I got hungry so we deserted the boys for food. We found a cute little pizzeria then went to a chocolate store that turned out not to be really amazing.
The rest of yesterday was spent on the terrace of our hostel with my new little ´family,´ my journal, watercolor paints, my flute and the sunshine. Last night we went out to a little bar called Deja Vu where a live band covered everyting from Bob Marley to Play That Funky Music White Boy. I retired early and went to sleep while the rest of my group stayed out until 2 ish...or 3?
This morning the rest of my family got up and set off for a hike into the Colca Canyon. I chose to hang out in Arequipa this morning. I like finding friends and travelling with a group, but I really do like having some alone time. I did yoga and went to a fruiteria where I bought the best avocado I have ever eaten for about 75 centavos.
This afternoon I will set off for Chivay, a cute little town near the Colca Canyon where there is supposed to be an astronomical observatory. Then I will hit up Cabaconde before stopping by Puno on my way to Cusco. That is the plan anyways...