Getting back into the mountains felt great. Spending the past few weeks in tropical climates made us appreciate the chill in the air that greeted us as we stepped off of the plane and onto the tarmac where we had an amazing view of the nearby 19,101 foot volcano El Misti.
It took us a little while to find a hostel that was in our price range and after a few hours of lugging around our backpacks we finally decided to accept the fact that things just cost more in Peru than in Guatemala. The room we settled on was basic but set in a nice location surrounded by beautiful colonial buildings made out of a white volcanic rock called sillar. There are convents to tour and churches to explore, we even found a few free self guided tours through old mansions with amazing courtyards.
Arequipeños are really friendly and many times as we sat in the plaza strangers would come up to us and start conversations asking what we liked about Peru and why we were there. We were directed to the local market for chicha and told which were the best food dishes to try and which areas to walk around. The Yanahuara neighborhood was a fun area to explore and we found a busy restaurant to have Sunday lunch surrounded by other families doing the same.
When we did wander over to the market it seemed oddly organized and clean to us. We admired the wool hats, ate stuffed peppers and ceviche and ended our stay by stocking up on hard rolls and cheese to take with us to Colca Canyon.