Other than a change of currency that I’m still not used to, and turning back the clock one hour (take that, Daylight Saving Time), the border crossing from Bolivia to Peru was uneventful and easy. Arriving in Puno (a bit of an ugly city, but known for its connection to the Islas Flotantes, an extremely commercialised and touristic but interesting detour that I opted to skip) for a 15 minute connection to my bus to Arequipa, though…hectic. After getting on the bus, people started openly complaining, which was a new and awkward experience for me – more than a few Peruvians were banging on the windows and stamping on the floor, yelling “HORA! VAMOS!” – and we were only 15 minutes late! Not a particularly great first impression of a country. They repeated their complaining everytime we picked up a hitchhiker.
Arriving in Arequipa late at night without a hostel, I teamed up with the only other backpacker on the bus – Joachim from Austria. Following our guidebooks, we settled in quickly and went to grab some dinner…Pizza Hut. Heh. Continue reading