I told ya we would stop back to trap coffee. I mean who would get Starbucks when you can get this?! The barista showed us some cafe art and we got a fruit cold brew and cafe latte to go.
We wanted to see Jade’s work in the gallery. Google said it was closed but I found Jade online and he said they were open. Always good to double check. I ended up buying small prints for souvenirs and a large print to take home. Thatbwas hard because the lady didn’t speak English but good ole Google translator came to save the day! We paid and she packaged them up. We planned on swinging by later. We had a night flight so we had all the time in the world in Barranco... well at least a few hours anyway.
As you could guess we were hungry. Time for some chifa! Peruvian asian cuisine. Chun Yion has super high reviews on Trip Advisor and I have to say it was pretty darn good. Look at those dishes? Don’t be jelly.
After lunch we went back to the hotel to charge up and then off to the board walk. You can tell they have plans to build the boardwalk up. It looks very commercial and Incak see it being very popular in the next 5-10 years.
I confacted fhe shirt place I liked at La Féria via FB. We planned a shirt drop at Jade Rivera’s shop. Christy said that was weird but I thought .. If they would do it that would be cool. Everything worked out. We even got to see Jade’s work at a museum in Miraflores. It was closing in a few days so we were lucky to just make it.
The end of our time in Peru was coming to a close. We had to get going because traffic was getting bad. We stopped at a brewery in Barranco and had pizza (crust made of purple corn), croquettes and beer. Not bad at all. Guess who stopped by to see us off? Our Peruvian friend Daniel! A nice ending to an awesome trip.
traffic insane from the hotel to the airport. We managed to get on our Soirit flight and head off to Florida. Minus the 24 hour sickness I had, this was quite the trip. I really liked South America. I hope to go back someday. I wanted to write some posts (even though it’s not even good writing) to make sure i document pieces of the trip. So many great parts to this trip. I won’t say adios but I will say... until we meet again... hasta luego Perú. ;)
One is the shirts from Attomo. Petty cool huh? Who wouldn't want a T-shirt with ramen and cassette tapes.
We got to the airport early abd of course... I was starving. This one little spot has these empanada. Daaayum were they good! One was meat and potatoes and the other was cheese. They hit the spot. We were ready for Lima!
The hotel we stayed at was a little modern hotel by the plaza. It was nice. Not Yawar Inca nice but I can’t complain because that one place had mold growing on the walls...
We has a couple hours until our Barranco food tour with Nacho. Not Daniel but it’s ok. He was sick. We were disappointed but it’s all good. Nacho was nice. We joined a family from Denmark. It was a lovely night. I enjoyed the Barranco tour much more than Miraflores in terms is the area and food.
We states with a mussel. Let me tell you... that one mussel was so effing delicious. I believe it was at a place called Ventabarron. It’s right by the plaza. We then took a walk and saw some amazing murals. Nacho told us a lot about the work and the area we took photos. I fell in love with local artist Jade Rivera. His work is pretty amazing. We passed his gallery and put that on our stops for our one day in Lima. We stopped on a place called Javier’s and had beef heart (antichuchos) and potatoes. It was pretty good I haver to say. The wine pour were huge so our Denmark friends shared it with us. How nice of them!
After Javier’s we walked around the town. Saw some more murals and then stopped at La Féria, a weekend flea market. It was so cool. Many artists selling their work. There was music, food and art. What’s better than that?
Nacho got us a dish (lomito saltaldo) at restaurante criollo AnAnAu. It was a chifa dish. Basically a stir fry of sorts with fries at the bottom. Whatever. It was yummy! We wish would could come back to the market but the next day was Monday as it wouldn’t be open. I took a card from a t-shirt place to see if I could find them later.
One would think we were done but nope. We stopped odd to grab a dessert. Actually we were suppose to grab a drink but Nacho said the lady who sells them was not there. I personally think he should have taken us somewhere else but we skipped that part and moved onto a desser. I forget what the dessert is called but it looks like onion rings. It’s basically yuca with drizzled syrup. Not bad.
We were finally getting to the end of our food tour with nacho. We stopped off ah Tostada Bisetti. They are serious about their coffee. I had an espresso and my friend had a hit chocolate. All was good. We even planned on stopping back the next day.
It was a good night in Barranco. Nacho shared an Uber and we made our way back to the hotel.
When we got back to Arequipa we had all these plans of doing things... you know what we did? We went to burger chulls. Basically the Bagger Dave’s is Arequipa. While the burger was definitely more burger than Bembos, it still was weird. The fries were good. I’m not sure they got such high reviews on Trip Advisor. I think maybe because they are the only burger place around where they let you customize? I did appreciate that the workers wore gloves when serving and prepping food. I have not seen that yet in South America.
We ate and then walked back to Casa Arequipa. We needed to get some sleep because we had one full day and we wanted to make the most of it.
We woke up early and enjoyed a delicious breakfast provided by Casa Arequipa. Ok. I don’t eat bread really but they served this delicious bread that was like a hard baguette on the outside and inside was like a croissant. Crazy good. Super dangerous. You could have like a basket of them.
Agyer brskdast we hurried to our meeting point to join a free walking tour. It was nice because we met at the square of Las Gringas. We walked around a bit and listened to the guide. She talked a lot about the Spanish conquest and the architecture. It was interesting. When we got to Plaza de Armas we decided to break off. We tipped her and said adios.
We wanted to make sure we saw the church before mass, Juanita and the monestaey. There big areas of interest in Arequipa. Before we started are adventure we grabbed some lunch. We had dinner reservations at Zig Zag so we didn’t want a super fancy place. I was fine with a McDonald’s...but my travel companion wanted more. So guess what? We ended up at La Lucha! lol
she got the chicken sandwich which honestly don’t get. It’s fine but a bit dry and lacks flavor. I got the sandwich I was going to get before. Basically it’s roasted pork but I had them add an onion salad and a cheese. No one adjusts food in Peru but I’m convinced I made that sandiwxh spectacular. It was delicious.
After lunch we found the monestaey. We were afraid they wouldn’t let us in because we didn’t have anything covering our legs but they said yes. The monestaey wa cool. It was interesting to see how the nuns lived. They said it was a town within a town and you could totally feel that. Waking around if felt like you were so secluded.
After the monestaey we had some more time before dinner that we wanted to find Juanita the mummy. Ok. It was super creepy and the story is incredibly sad. Basically the Incas took this young girl to mount misty and sacrificed her. I’m pretty sure other things happened to her too... the findings showed that she died by someone bashing something into her skull. Poor girl. Now her body is being showcased at some museum. It was a little disturbing.
Now that we had all of that... we weee ready for dinner! We went back to the hotel to freshen up and back out. We swung by then church to see if we could get in. To our surprise we could! They let people in right before mass. So we were able to walk around and see the beautiful church. Take a look at some of the intricate artwork.
We finished up and wandered over to zig zag. I don’t really care if it’s a tourist restaurant. It was damn good. That lamb tho. I wish I would have gotten just lamb. Pass on the alpaca. It was too lean and dry. The beef was good. Like REAL beef. What a treat! The trout was so, so goood. I basically started liking trout on this trip. I’ll have to buy some to make it at home.
The whole meal was just really a solid meal. I’m glad that our friend at Arequipa silvana recommende did to us. I think it’s cool how you can get multiple meats and get it by the grams so you can sample them. A nice way to taste different meats.
Of course before going back to the hotel for the evening we need to go to the muses del pisco... because why not? Actually their menu sounded pretty good too. They had tapas and I <3 tapas. :)
my friend and I shared a pisco sour and called it a night. This was the last night in Arequipa. My hope is it’s not my last but it very well may be. It’s so fascinating to me that people live in a town surrounded by volcanoes. At any moment Mt Misty could erupt and destroy the entire city. As my friend Marcelino would say... “It’s crraaaaazzzy!”
Breakfast was a sad one. The last breakfast at Casa Arequipa. We ate. Talked to Silvana and started packing up for our route back to Lima. We both weee so glad we can do Arequipa. A cute friendly little town. We tipped our cleaning lady and Silvana. She was so helpful to us. Extremely nice staff at Casa Arequipa. We will miss you all. We got into a taxi and hugged and said goodbye to Silvana.
Ready for Lima and Barranco!
Day 2 with Colca Trek. Up and at em early in the AM! We thought we were so early but when we came into the dining area everyone was already there. Breakfast was good. Juice, eggs, bread, oatmeal, fruit and cafe. Colca definitely knows how to feed its’ tour friends. :)
We packed up and were ready to see the condors. I didn’t really expect much. I mean I already saw them at the animal sanctuary. We stopped at one overview and there were people already there. We waited a couple minutes and Sabino quietly guided us back to the bus where Miguel drove us to another area where no other tourists were. I have to say... we saw the condors and they were beautiful. Really amazing watching them fly over our heads in and out of the canyon. We were lucky to see them Lucky we an awesome tour guide like Sabino.
After the condors we made our way to the bike zone. I don’t know why but I was scared of the downhill biking. It was fast. If one would hit a pothole or a rock one would definitely go flying! I just held my rear brake a little through the whole time making sure I was going at a pace that felt good to me. The hardest was the mile uphill. The combination of the altitude and energy exertion really made your lungs burn. I was proud of myself. I made it! Who cares if I was going at a biking pace of a fast walker. I still made it. lol Look at that victorious photo is me. That photo says it was a piece os cake. My lungs and legs said otherwise.
After the evil kanevil bone riding we took a little walk do see the deep part of the canyon. Sabino took a photo of our group and then we made our way back and onward to lunch.
Seriously, let me give a shoutout to the lunch places Colca provides us with. They were sooooo good! I mean, really for a buffet they were quite excellent. I also loved how Sabino would go over what each dish was so we knew before taking it. On the Machu Picchu tour I took what I thought was vegetables... let me just say... it was not vegetables... I was so stuffed at both of the buffets. They were very,very good. Kudos to you Colca Trek.
After lunch it was back to the hotel to change into our bathing suites and go to the hot springs. The hot springs is a bit weird to me. I’ll have to read more about it but it seemed much touristy. Anyway, if felf good fo dip in. The water was definitely hot! A nice end activity for an otherwise long trip. I liked how Colca took us to a hot spring where again no other tourists were.
On the way to the breaking point where some would go to Puno and others would go to Arequipa we listened to Sabino’s music mix. There was just something about that moment... to steal from John Hughes... just some kind of wonderful. I will remember that moment.
You can read my Colca Trek review here: Colca Trek Trip Advisor Review
One of the awesome things about Colca Trek is that they have their own hotel in the canyon. So you don’t have to wake up at 3:30am to make a long drive to see the condors fly. You’re already there. Also, it’s just really cute. Look at that window. It’s open and wide for you to watch the sunrise over the mountains. The hotel was super nice and very comfortable.
We all met in the common dining lounge area for drinks and wait for the dance of love that some of fhe local Peruvians performed for us. It was really a good time. We all started dancing for a little bit. Lol Dance party in the canyon!
After the dancing I can tell you I was starving! It was already like 8pm. Our Italian friends were laughing at me because they normally eat dinner around 10pm. Man..how do they stay so skinny? Italian secrets I guess.
Dinner was so good. We had a soup appetizer, trout, vegetables and mashed potatoes and a dessert. Excellente! Our tour guide Sabino even showed us how to make the perfect pisco sour. Damn it was good. Too good. We’re in trouble now that we have this knowledge. Many of pisco sours will be made in the states. Lol
We ended the night talking to our new friends from Norway and pie friends from France. I think our Italian friends wanted to keep drinking but an early morning wake up and booze don’t really mix with me. They were young. I’m old now. Need my beautiful rest. :)
I can’t even remember when we had Las Gringas in Arequipa but I love this place. Absolutely love this place. I think we stopped in after the Colca Trek stop for dinner. It’s located in a weird area. It’s off a road and into a square. The food is delicious! Who would have thought a blueberry pizza could be so good. Our only regret is that we didn’t get the focaccia. So, so sad. Food regrets all around. If we stayed longer I would have tried all of the pizzas. A definite place to stop while in Arequipa.
Ok y’all. Colca Canyon with Colca Trek was amazing. I wrote a long review on Trip Advisor already so I don’t need to go into detail but... I will say they made it such a real experience. Saving and Miguel. Two experts. They were super flexible and gave us the experience of a lifetime. I loved every moment of this tour. I would hands down book with them again. It was so amazing. I think it best out Machu Picchu! That says a lot. Thanks Sabino for being so awesome!
We arrived at Casa Arequipa and I instantly loved it. Well, my first thought was that I needed to lay down and we needed a room ASAP! I won’t write tons about Casa Arequipa. You can read it in my Trip Advisor review here > Casa Arequipa Trip Advisor
After I laid down for a bit we decided to get some food in our bellies. We found a place called El Turko. They sold kebabs... and if you know me you know I love kebabs!
It really was the perfect meal. Clean. Comfortable. Fresh. They had multiple sauces. I was definitely feeling a bit better.
After lunch we walked around trying to find Colca Trek to finalize our tour. They have a weird western union money system and it got all messed up. So we had to go in person and pay.
All i have to say is I LOVED it! Seriously sooooo good. We were worried it was going to be super duper active and I wasn’t sure that I could do another Machu after trying to come out of being sick. It was perfect. Mild/light.
We didn’t have tons of time this day to do much since we were up again for Colca in the early AM. Yeah, I know, what a surprise. So we walked around the plaza and got to know the place.
Below are photos from the street, Paza de Armas and the church.
Legs felt pretty good. Actually, my whole body felt fine. Maybe it was all that vitamin D I soaked up. We don’t have that in Michigan.
Oh, before I jump in this too far. Being single soles. You’ll need them for the bathroom. :)
So we got into Machu Picchu with little wait. We started with the Incan Bridge. Marce failed to mention there was more stair incline but we made it. Basically because we’re bad ass now. :) After the Incan bridge which looked like a death trap btw, we went onto the circuit. Marcelino took us to various spots to talk about it’s significance within the circuit. We parted half way through. You can read most all of this on my SAM Travel Trip Advisor review... but let me just say, I was a little said to part from Marcelino. Our second Peruvian friend. Maybe we will see one another again. Until the... don’t step on snakes. :)
Welp. It's a good start. Didn't keel over yet. Didn't step on poisonous snakes. So far, so good. We took a train to Aguas Calientes and then we were off to find our luggage and get a room. We DID get our bags back. See, I wasn't worried at all... :)
The above photos are from our walk to our hotel. There was also a market/flea market area where many people had stalls they were selling items. They mostly looked like the picture of the right. An interesting way of life, but I'm pretty sure Aguas Calientes is just a tourist town. I'm not sure much else happens here.
We settled in and washed the stink of the day off and got ready for dinner. Ok. This is the moment where I'm going to go on a tangent really quick. The hotel room we stayed in was bad. Seriously bad. The mold was seeping through the wall paint. It smelled like poop. The toilet leaked and there were bugs in the bed. Ok, just one bug, but it was damp in the room and I didn't want to lay under the covers. We ended up sleeping in our clothes on top of the bed. It was so gross. We did see that other rooms on other levels were quite nice. So, I'm not sure why they are putting people in this room. No one should book room 103 or really the neighboring room either. The weirdest part of the rooms is that you had window in the bathroom next to the toilet that opened up into the next persons bathroom... yes. You got that. So any time their light when on or you were going to the bathroom... you were doing it right next to someone else. It was very strange. The hotel was called the Wiracocha Inn. Seriously gross. I'm not picky. I just want a clean room with no bed bugs. Is that hard to ask? Oh, there were someone else's pile of nail clippings on the nightstand. So, there's that...
Anyway, off to dinner! We stopped at a restaurant that SAM has a partnership with. It was nice to be able to order a three course meal. Appetizer, entree, and dessert. The food wasn't amazing, but it was better than the lunch buffet from Sacred Valley. It was just fine. It really was nice to have a hot meal after the day's activities.
My favorite part of the evening was when Marcelino was trying to set a time when we would go into Machu Picchu and suggested 7am. No one wanted to commit to that early time. He said it was better to go early, but proposed 7am because he knew we may want to sleep in. 7am is the sleep in time eh? Oh, Marcelino. You're funny. :) We ended up going at 8am. Marcelino was right though... go early. The queue to get in got crazy in the afternoon. The bus lines can take over an hour to get back down the mountain. It was really congested in Machu Picchu at an early hour so I felt bad for anyone who went in the PM.