On the way from Huacachina to Arequipa we stopped to have a look at a couple of the famous Nazca Lines, a collection of hundreds or even thousands of manmade geoglyphs in the desert. By removing the top layers of the surface, members of the Nazca culture drew different kinds of motives (simple lines, animals, plants etc) in the sand, sometimes several hundred meters wide. Apparently they stem from around 500 BC and were created for religious reasons.
Probably the best way to see them is to take a flight for about USD 80. The pilots are said to be crazy and it’s not uncommon for passengers to have another look at their half digested breakfast after the first few death defying turns. Some reasearchers were and still are very intrigued by the lines. Call me ignorant, but I have to admit that I couldn’t exactly see why I should be that fascinated by some carvings in the ground. Therefore, I decided against the flight and simply had a look at a couple of the figures from the top of a viewing platform located next to the road. It didn’t make me regret not taking the flight.
From here, the journey went on overnight to Arequipa. After dropping my stuff in the Flying Dog Hostel I joined a free walking tour through the city. We visited the main square, the marketplace with all its weird products including llama embryos for sacrifices, frog juice (yap, a real frog smoothie) and cheese ice cream (helado de queso). In the end we went for a free pisco sour in one of the local bars. After that much walking, I was ready for a nice lunch in one of the Picanterias. The local speciality chupa de camarones (see picture below) seemed like a great option, and it really was delicious.
In the evening I met up with some travel companions and we went to see the city from aa different angle. The viewpoint also allowed for great pictures of Arequipa’s house volcano Misti.
But the main reason I went to Arequipa was not the city itself, but the nearby Colca Canyon. The three day tour left the next morning at 3 AM and I had to prepare my backpack. Therefore, the evening was a short one and I headed back to the hostel early.
Check out the next post about the Colca Canyon trekking.