Tuesday morning and it's time for our next flight. It was an early start but we're all still jet lagged so we're awake in plenty of time. What a way to travel! We were picked up from the hotel by a driver and a guide in a comfortable SUV. 40 minutes later we were at the airport and the guide took us in, sorted out checking us in at the automatic machines, walked us through the bag drop process and dropped us at the security check area. No hassle, no nothing, it was all so easy. Time for a coffee and then a slight flight delay and we were off on our way for a short, one hour flight to Arequipa (pronounced arra keepa). We flew over some of the foothills of the Andes so would have had some quite incredible views except jane and Tilly had the window seats and slept the whole journey.
After getting our bags we were met by our local guide and headed off to the hotel. Wow, what a city and what a difference to Lima! We drove through desert and were surrounded by 3 incredible volcano's - El Misti, Pichu Pichu and Chachani. The city is old and has so much charm and character. Our guide told us that although it's only 22 degrees it feels hotter and the high altitude, 2300m, means that the sun is very strong and we should wear factor 50 at least, preferably factor 70. I had thought factor 70 was a balaclava and a boiler suit so we'd have to use up the factors 39 and 50 we brought with us and reapply regularly. 5 stars for Audley Travel so far; its the extra touches that matter like each of us being given a printed booklet with our detailed itinerary on for the next few days rogether with a map and ideas of things to see and eat. After checking into our lovely Tierra Viva hotel we were off to the main square, the Plaza de Armas, for lunch and more Pisco Sours! We found a lovely balcony restaurant overlooking the main square and Tilly chose the best - a fish stew/soup with large river prawns and potatoes. I won the 'uhh, I'm not eating that' competition from Tilly with an alpaca steak on a bed of quinoa risotto that was all gorgeous. After lunch we went for a walk around the square and found a stunning church but we'll leave the proper exploring for tomorrow as we have another couple of days here. Oo