This is my first visit to Peru. A place I have wanted to visit for a long time, so long I forget when I first wanted to travel here, lured by the mix of history, culture, and more recently the geology/volcanology. Travelling through Arequipa I was struck by similarities with Nicaragua, although the driving is by far the worst I have experienced on my various travels. Once through the bustle of Arequipa you start heading into the foothills and gain altitude very quickly, all the time accompanied by the looming Misti volcano which over looks the city. What a setting!
On the way back, we stopped at a little village where one of the Felipes spotted a random building which appeared to be a shop. In we went to get sustenance as we were ill-prepared and didn’t bring lunch. Here me and Tom discovered Inca Cola, a little like Irn Bru but slightly less sweet and super tasty. This is also where I started to feel a little unwell. It was difficult to tell whether this was a result of exhaustion and lack of sleep or the start of acute mountain sickness or caffeine withdrawal or a mixture of everything. A small amount of nausea and a mild headache. Some coca cola (not the Inca stuff!) started to settle my stomach so the nausea passed quickly, as did the headache. Over the next hour we descended rapidly, the mild symptoms fully passed and I just felt exhausted.
The evening was filled with dinner and an icebreaker to the workshop we are piggy-backing along (more in another post). I was probably not at my most chatty whilst mingling! A quick dinner then asleep by 8:30. And so ends Day number 1, which felt more like 3 days. I wrote this lengthier post than usual on the way up for Day 2 which you will hear about soon! See the accompanying video diary below.