After twelve hours KLM flight we landed at the early evening in Lima. Our intention was to take the last flight on that day to Arequipa. Unfortunately we did not made it. The plan was too tight and the South American people do not really like to urge. So we were stuck on the airport in Lima – really, really tired, with no hotel and no plan. After another two hours of discussions our flights were finally changed for the next day. So we spent the night in the overpriced airport hotel.
The following night was quite short and loud. We took the first possible flight pn the next day and were happy to be picked up by our Peruvian and German friends at the airport in Arequipa. After a short ride through the loud and busy streets we arrived at our hotel – Queens Villa. This is situated in a quite calm area and features a really scenic garden with a pool and enough space to have a rest after an exhausting sightseeing trip.
Our first walk in the city took us to the local market. It was an interesting experience not only for those part of our group who have never been out of Europe before but also for the globe trotters among us.
One of the things that impressed me at most was the selection of different kinds of potatoes – there are about 180 different kinds in Peru! On this day the market was pretty empty. Only a couple of local people were shopping there. So I had the great chance to take some nice pictures and capture the atmosphere. Of course I tried also some of the deli food which was offered at the numerous stands – fresh juices, cheese and giant pickled olives! My favourite! I am a real olives fan especially when they are black. And the one that I got at that market were by far the best one ever!
The next stop was a small restaurant offering empanadas stuffed with all kinds of meat and a few kinds of cheese. The main part of the Peruvian cuisine is concentrated on meat and potatoes. I suppose that it would be hard for vegetarian to survive here for longer than a week 🙂
Anyway the food is delicious and fresh. One should taste the stuffed pepper – it is pretty spicy and different from the Bulgarian style. The stuffed avocado became also one of my favourite dishes – filled with a salad prepared from chopped cooked vegetables, chicken meat and mayonnaise.
There is so much to see and tell about Arequipa – so stay tuned – a review about the Santa Catalina Monastery is following. And tomorrow we are starting for the Colca Canyon tour – two days long. I am quite excited to see the big condor of the Andes.