Diary Entry

The drive down from the Altiplano to the city of Arequipa is very difficult because, although it is possible, the engine keeps getting hot.

Nevertheless, the path also damages the brakes, because it goes from 4000 meters to 2300 meters in a few kilometers. It’s time for the next workshop.

And it’s time for a real meal. There are many traditional restaurants around our accommodation.

However, we do without the guinea pig, which is also found everywhere here. Chicha, the spit beer, is also very popular here.

We are assured that there is no spit in there. Only the people in the jungle do such barbaric things. I wonder if the people of the jungle say the same about the people of the mountains.

We are moving into a luxurious mansion that we found on Airbnb. They’re waiting for us there, even if we arrive later than agreed because of the hot engine.

We spend a very pleasant stay in the house. It is the best accommodation of our trip. Housekeeping Martha is also growing on us. She spends a lot of time playing with Leon.

From there, on an impressive roof terrace, we can see the three surrounding volcanoes: the Misti at 5822 meters, the Chachani at 6057 meters and the Picchu Picchu at 5664 meters.

The mountains seem even more powerful, since Arequipa is now just 2300 meters. Enjoy the view with a glass of wine.

Overnight Tip

One of the best AirBnBs of our trip

The city is very different from Puno or La Paz and offers a lot of colonial and more noble style. Our mansion is just one example. Our whole street features old beautiful houses and opposite is a small palace where celebrations such as weddings take place. The Yanahuara district is close to the historic city center, which features a large monastery and a white, twin-towered cathedral.

These have collapsed a number of times over the course of time, as the proximity to three volcanoes also means that there are many earthquakes a year. A twenty-minute walk also takes us straight to the historic heart of the city.

The city center is overrun by tourists at the weekend. As in most cities in Bolivia and Peru, the Plaza des Armas is the most beautiful square in the city and a meeting point for festivities.

Here is also the Basilica Cathedral de Arequipa, the symbol of the city. We visit the church with a tour and can see the magnificent cathedral from the inside and also climb to the roof.

In the Plaza de Armas we will witness demonstrations apparently being carried out by several indigenous peoples calling for revolution.

At least by petition.

Two women in traditional clothing and with a lamb and a baby alpaca invite you to take photos.

Sara can’t resist and Leon finds the white fluffy baby animals interesting at some point.

We visit the Mercado San Camilo, where there is just a huge selection of food. Especially fruits and juices are offered there.

We haven’t even heard of many of the fruits on offer.

Our car is at the workshop, but communication only works to a limited extent. The answers to my questions come late or I have to ask several times. But I have the problem throughout South America. It turns out that our cylinder head gasket actually blew out at one point and caused the overheating.

It takes two weeks for the workshop to solve the problem and a dripping diesel tank and we can finally continue our journey.

From Arequipa we head west. The coast awaits. So far we haven’t seen the sea on our trip. After all those weeks in the mountains and Sara’s struggles with altitude, we long for the beach.

Our first port of call is called Mollendo. My hometown of Oberried has a close partnership with this town.



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