Monday, November 25, 2013
Arequipa to Camana, Peru
Having used Arequipa and Las Mercedes as our base for the past two months we are ready to move. We have met up with Marcela and Mariano and seen Cusco and Machu Picchu. We have driven with Winston to see Lake Titicaca and Colca Canyon. We have visited just about every famous church, monastery and museum in Arequipa. And we have definitely eaten our way through our share of restaurants. It is time to move but it is hard. We like it here. We like the hostel and the people who run it. We like the city, the restaurants and the cathedral. People have started to recognize us when we go to mass. We have settled in but it is time to move. That is the reason we started this adventure but it is hard to leave. As we prepare the motorhome for departure even Ursula who owns Las Mercedes and German and Bruno who work there, can’t believe we are leaving. They try to talk us into staying and ask if we can leave Winston for them. We tell them firmly, absolutely not. On our final evening, we do a barbeque for everyone. We will miss them but …it is time to leave. The next morning, we hug them all for the final time and we are on our way. They have tears in their eyes and so do we. It is definitely time to leave. But the city of Arequipa will hold a special place in our hearts and since we want to visit Machu Picchu again, we may come back. I know one thing, if you visit Peru do not miss Arequipa, it is a lovely, lovely city and please drop by and say hello to Ursula and the boys. Our goal for the night is simply to make it to Camana which is about a 4 hour drive and the closest coastal town to Arequipa. Popular with Arequipenos during the summer months this is a sleepy beach town as this time of year. Oh how nice it was to be back on a beach. Winston just ran in circles around us, woofing with joy. He flew up and down the sand, chasing waves, chasing birds, chasing pieces of seaweed. He was happy and so were we. Our overnight parking was beside a water park which, fortunately for us is closed for the season. I am sure in summer this area is packed with people but we did not see another person. As we cooked dinner, we left the door open so we could smell the sea breeze and hear the ocean. It is strange getting used to being out in the open again. Behind the big walls and locked gates of Las Mercedes all sounds are muted and there is a feeling of isolation and insulation, rather like living a house with four walls and a locked door. Here, we are parked by the side of the road. A water park on one side and the Pacific Ocean on the other. No walls, no secured gates but we have never felt threatened or in danger in our travels and we feel safe here. Besides, there really isn’t another being around. It was wonderful and made more so by the fact that every time I woke through the night, all I heard was the waves. What a great sound!