The bus ride from Ica to Arequipa was a bit grueling, and we all arrived in Arequipa a little worse for wear. On the way down to Arequipa we got the great news that my Australian cousins were also in Arequipa and keen to meet up. Unfortunately that first day no one was up for much besides napping, and it took us to the evening to realize that what looked like tiredness was actually (almost) all of us coming down with some kind of malady or another.
We were a pretty sorry group that first day with head colds and dodgy tummies and fevers sprinkled among us. Tom seems to be the only one to escape the plague unscathed. We took it easy for the first couple of days in Arequipa to let our bodies heal for the Colca Canyon 3 day trek, a trek into the deepest canon in the world (twice as deep as the Grand Canyon) and back out again.
Though we all wanted to trek we figured we should let our bodies gain a little strength back before embarking on a venture of that magnitude. Instead we met up with Kyle and Shea (my cousins from down unda) and our merry little band of 5 became 7!
We saw the best the region has to offer as far as freakishly well preserved bodies of 14 year old Incan princess sacrificial offerings, and delicious gourmet food!
Juanita, as the body is commonly known, is not actually a mummy as she was encased in ice soon after drinking chicha (super strong Incan corn beer) eating coca leaves, and thus slightly drugged being clubbed over the head as an offering to the gods. In ice she stayed until she was discovered, along with all the offerings left with her, by Johan an explorer in the 1980’s.
After this cheery visit we went to zig zag, one of the nicest restaurants in Arequipa to have such delights as ostrich Carpaccio (OMG so yummy!!) and stone cooked alpaca steaks. It was one of the fanciest dinners we have had in a long time, and well worth it!
We also saw some pretty scenic views from the top of the plaza de armas, and the requisite Peruvian llamas.