Now that both Edith and Jay had departed back to the US, Sheri and Larry decided to sleep in. We had done all of the major Arequipa touristy things the previous day, so we decided that this would be a day of lounging–eating, shopping, blogging :). We had breakfast at the rooftop restaurant, and it was only us and one other couple from San Deigo at the hotel. Then we did some internet blogging, and caught up on our e-mail.
For lunch we headed by taxi to Tradición Arequipeña. It was another beautiful day, and the view of the volcanoes was wonderful. The restaurant had just opened and a kids part was going on in one section. The day was getting warm, so we decided to sit inside. As an appetizer, we had a Corn and Andean Cheese–the cooked corn was fresh and much less starchy than we had tried previously. For a main course, Sheri again had stuffed peppers and scalloped potatoes; Larry had another Palta de Rellena (stuffed avocado with chicken) and Papas Fritas. The restaurant slowly filled up with locals, and they were doing a soundcheck for music which sounded like it was a great place to spend the afternoon. However, we wanted to see a little more of the city and do some shopping.
We gabbed a taxi and headed back to Plaza de Armas. We passed through the bustling market area, seeing another portion of the city. We did some final shopping (since Arequipa is known for its shopping). After a while, we decided to grab a dessert. We looked for a while and finally found Crepismo, a creperie related to ZigZag (where we had had a wonderful dinner previously in Arequipa). It was a two story cafe with a great atmosphere. We grabbed a comfy couch upstairs in the loft area, and ordered our snack. The aroma of the crepes being made was wonderful. Sheri had a chocolate crepe, and Larry had a crepe of butter, cinnamon and sugar. They were fabulous. We relaxed for a while, and soaked in the atmosphere. Before we left, Larry went to the rooftop and took some photos overlooking the Monastery and city itself.
We got some money and walked back to the hotel. We spent a little more time on the hotel laptop, and finally were caught up with the blogging up to that point in the trip. We were heading to the Amazon tomorrow, so we repacked our bags to focus on what we needed for the jungle (only 1 duffel and our daypacks). We paid our hotel bill, since we would be leaving early for a 6:45AM flight. Larry realized that he had left the ATM card at the machine when he got money previously; Sheri quickly canceled it online before someone could use it as a credit card.
We decided to have a light meal in Arequipa, and we grabbed a taxi to go back to Crepismo. Normally we don’t go back to the same restaurant again, but we didn’t want to risk a bad meal. A lot of locals were enjoying Saturday night there–a table of older ladies seemed to be the community matrons as a lot of people came up and talked to them and wished them well. Sheri ordered a salad of lettuce, egg, avocado and tomato; while Larry had the Marinera sandwich (warm bread, tuna, tomato, and capers)–both were wonderful. Dessert was vanilla ice cream and a raspberry crepe. Yet another great meal. We sat in the window and watched people go by on the Saturday night. Double decker buses passed by with the 2nd floor filled with kids dressed up (and screaming and making noise) for the Quincineros celebration for some girl (as her father sat in silence amongst all the teenagers).
We walked back to the Plaza de Armas square, and it was bustling for people out for a walk for the temperate evening. We had a last look around at the European square. We saw one ambulance come for a car that had been in an accident which was really amazing since the never seemed to be any general right-of-way defined. Whoever got to an intersection first wins; and there were very few traffic lights. There were lots of sudden stops as some taxi or bus would take the right of way. Surprisingly there were few accidents or even dented cards. We did see one deadlock scenario where a large four-way intersection was gridlocked with cars unable to move, unable to yield. Luckily we were able to skate around it in our taxi.
We headed back to the hotel. We felt safe in the neighborhood, seeing numerous cops walking their beat. However, we had been stopped two separate times in the last few days (once by an old woman and once by an old man) and warned to be careful and watch for thieves. But we always felt safe. We reached Hotel Arequipal, and we did our final preparations for our early morning flight to the Amazon jungle.