Travel to Arequipa
We had some confusion about when we were to take the bus to Arequipa. Our transfer agent thought we had our tickets. We said No, you are to buy the ticket. Our itinerary said we were to catch the morning bus to Arequipa. They said the 2:00 bus! Anyway, we got them to change it so we went on the 9:30 bus which was not a "tourist" bus but a local one. OK for us, except no bathroom on the bus and the only rest stop was an field where most of the people on the bus got out and peed in the field!! Great for Don, but I decided to wait! The Peruvian women with their long skirts sure have an advantage!
We traveled over the high plateau again and then down from the mountains to Arequipa. Herds of llamas and alpacas everywhere on the plateau, but then we went even higher (4444 meters) and got into desolate country. Even there a few people live, although I don't know how! Then desert - sand with a few scrub plants like sagebrush. The desert was green, because it had just rained, and we could see the mud in the water beds but no water running. We passed through a nature reserve and saw wild vicuna(?). I have to say that my identification of vicuna, llama, alpaca, and guanaco is not to be trusted, but at one point other people on the bus were saying "vicuna, vicuna" so I assume they knew what they were talking about.
Finally arrived at Arequipa, after descending, descending, descending, (with only one near miss with a semi-trailer!!) and arrived at the bus station. We were met by another transfer agent and brought to our nice hotel which is a converted monastery. See link to get an idea about this hotel. (http://www.hotelessanagustin.com.pe/hotel_arequipa_posada_del_monasterio.htm)
After unpacking and doing some laundry, we did a little walk around the main square and found a restaurant for supper. Early to bed!
It looks like the website is having trouble uploading any photos this morning so I'll try to give you more photos later.