The landscape around Arequipa is bone dry. We already saw that on the way from the Altiplano and during our stay in Arequipa the city also seemed like an oasis to us. At the foot of one or the other valley you will find a small green world. It goes up dusty mountains and down stony mountains. From afar you could see white powdered sugar on the mountains, which turned out not to be snow but sand.
Whole dunes have been deposited at the mountain pass. Behind it it goes steadily downhill. It’s extremely barren. Over large areas we see small houses that some people have built in the middle of the landscape.
There must be water somewhere, because every now and then a ruined building shines with greenery. We also come to a lake, but the heaps of salt and red color suggest the body of water is not helpful for vegetation survival.
Nevertheless, there are some houses around the salt lake. However, abandoned houses. Why did people build a settlement here and where are the people now?
It goes through an endlessly barren landscape that makes us think we have been abandoned on Mars, until we finally see the wide Pacific Ocean in front of us on the horizon.
Hard to believe that our world ends here and the other half of the globe is under water here.
We are now on the legendary Panamericana, which stretches from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego. The road is well developed. Nevertheless, the landscape remains barren and so do the villages. If Mars has an ocean and is populated, it might look like this.
Or on Earth after a nuclear war. Or on the west coast of South America. As soon as we are on the coast, the sky is covered with clouds and the air is cold. After all the days of sun, the weather is unusual for us. We reach Mollendo, our first stop at the coast.