Monday, July 28, 2008

No Puede Ser! Over already?

It was remarkable to me how ridiculously fast my time in Peru with Katie went. By the time last Monday evening rolled around and I had to re-pack my bags for the long trip North, I would have sworn I'd been there for three days, not nine. But, such is life.

Some highlights of the trip included, but were not limited to:

1. The hot springs in the Colca Valley: With the outside air temperature hovering around 40 degrees it made for a refreshing entry and exit... Also, our hotel was (not surprisingly) lacking in hot water, and heat for the rooms for that matter. I looked around for vents to signal some sort of conduction, but found none. I then considered calling the front desk to see if they could start a fire or something, then realized we had no phone. I will say that one thing they are in plentiful supply of in Andean hotels are alpaca blankets, and for good reason.

2. Incan Terraces: On our trip to Colca, these amazing historical remnants (still utilized by farmers 1200 years later) originally constructed to maximize agriculturally the water coming down the mountain, appeared below us early one morning. I must say that the picture does not do the scene any real justice...

3. The food was excellent, including the chicken, which tasted better than any chicken I've ever eaten previously in the United States. Also, they had gelato, specifically straciatella, which is like my kryptonite.

4. Arequipena beer: believe it or not, a lager I like.

5. The city of Arequipa, though only a landing pad for me as we hopped back and forth across Peru, actually started to feel like 'home'. There's nothing like getting to know the feel of a foreign place, it's rhythms, the streets, and the people. The Paz family were wonderful hosts and the view from Katie's balcony looking up on Mount Misti is one that I'll remember for a long time to come.

Oh, and the previous entry was no fluke, they drive like bats out of hell there. No stop signs, no traffic lights, just terrified gringos and constant horns.