We arrived in Arequipa yesterday afternoon by plane from Lima. The flight was only an hour and fifteen minutes, but the scenery was absolutely breathtaking. For much of the trip, all the land below bore the scar tissue of Milena of seismic uproar: ancient rivers of lava, eroded by wind, rivers, and rain; mountains of wildly-varying sizes; and rippled plains, the color of ash. When we landed, we were lucky enough to find an extremely nice taxi driver that told us all about the area while we rode into town - where the best places to go were, what to avoid eating, the history of the people, and other interesting facts.
Our hostel, Home Sweet Home, felt (and feels) just like that. The staff is exceedingly friendly and helpful. We were able to arrange to join a group trek through the Cañon de Colca, which only cost us about $40USD. We will be leaving here at 1am to take a bus to the Cañon (it picks us up at our hostel) - a 6 hour trip. When we get there, we will spend the first day hiking to the bottom of the Cañon, and then slightly up again to a place called The Oasis. We will stay at the Oasis one night, then hike back to the top to take the bus back. Hopefully I´m not in such terrible shape that this will be a painful endeavor.
Today we spent walking around the beautiful city of Arequipa. Most of the time was taken up by touring a massive monetary that is essentially its own town within the city. From there, we went to the Plaza de Armas to buy our tickets to fly from Arequipa to Juliaca ($17USD!), and then have lunch. We feasted on cuy (guinea pig), potatoes, and some very strong Pisco sours. Needless to say, we had to be tourists about the whole event and take photos of the critters being devoured. From there, we went to an amazing pasteleria, and I had the best mocha cake ever.
At this point, its time to pack our stuff up, because we will be leaving it locked up at the hostel. After that, it´s going to be a quick shower, and then a long nap before we have to head out. The next couple days will be intense, but hopefully there will be many good pictures and stories to come out of it.

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