Having arrived in Arequipa at 2:00am, we got off to a rather slow start and did not manage to leave the hostel until midday. Despite our brief stay in this particular city, it was clear that the Wild Rovers Hostel was a very friendly place, although as per usual I was forced to have a cold shower despite the promise of piping hot water.
We made our way to the main square and Emma needed to withdraw some cash. Unfortunately, after several attempts at using the ATM, Emma received a text from her bank claiming she was the victim of fraud and her card would be cancelled imminently unless she called them immediately. This was easier said than done as her mobile refused to make phone calls and the payphone was being very unhelpful. After a tense half our, Emma managed to sort out this particular dilemma and we decided we would reward ourselves with some lunch. We ended up eating at “Foray Fay”, which apparently translates into “Forty Five”, and turned out to be a rather delicious seafood restaurant.
Feeling replenished and ready to do something with my day, I decided to sign up for horse riding at our hostel, hoping it would allow me to meet some people. This turned out to be one of my favourite activities so far, not only because the scenery was phenomenally beautiful but also because I succeeded in meeting some really fun people. One of said persons was Ryan, who I discovered went to Bristol University, is still living in the city and lives just down the road from Emma. It is indeed a small world! Having spent the best part of an hour trotting along the beautiful countryside and sauntering through an idyllic stream, we bid farewell to our noble steeds and made our way back to the hostel. I should mention that before we left, we met the most divine puppy which could sit in the palm of your hand, and would (and did) melt the hearts of even the most manly of men.
Later that evening, we went for a meal with a group of people from the hostel and Emma and I shared the most delicious meal so far in Peru. This consisted of three portions of grilled meat (Alpaca, Cow and Pig), mashed potato, Ratatouille and a selection of mouth-watering sauces. I was particularly taken with the Alpaca! The waitresses must have felt we had some growing up to do as they gave us all paper bibs, much to our amusement and glee.
We decided to have a quiet night as we were to leave the hostel at 3:00am in order to take the one-day trip to Colca Canyon to see the condors. However, the prospect of such a horrendous wake-up did not stop us from having a couple of cocktails at the bar, including a rather delicious White Russian. Here we were introduced to an American ex-Minister (also called Ryan) who had given up a life serving God as he no loner felt it was possible to have one religion and one God in the whole of the World. After a year of feeling lost and uncertain, he had decided to travel the world and was currently sampling the splendors of South America. Eventually at about 11:00pm, we decided to call it a night, and managed to squeeze a few hours of sleep before the screech of my dreaded alarm.