Ok, hard to believe, this is happening. I’m writing my first post in English. But why?
Till today all the thoughts I was sharing were put in my native language – Polish. But witing my previous blog post after a long while I found myself thinking ‘jeez, I’d rather write it in English, would be so much easier’. Well, not that my English got already better than my native language, for sure.
I have been travelling on and off for close to 3 years now. And since I have left Poland again (3 months ago), the greater part of my life again happens in English. My best friends are located all around the world, making me speak English even more. Also I found myself thinking and dreaming in this language and on the top, all the adventures I have while travelling here and there happen in English so it’s just more adequate to describe them as-they-were. Sooo
Forgive my mistakes, I don’t care about them anymore so do the same and enjoy the trip with me!
Entonses… right, I decided to speak English, not Spanish. My brain is literally getting burned, I can clearly feel as it is consuming glucose to understand anything, pick any words I could possibly know in Spanish, as yesterday I moved to a tiny hostel to volunteer for a little while. The owner is a cute, 40ish Peruvian who runs his home-hostel living there with his mum, and guess what. They do not speak English. I mean, the mum is a pure definition of “not speaking English at all”, he is a little bit further. Means that my very broken Spanish combined with handful of simple English words actually give us a conversation, which is awesome.
Jamie’s house is situated 2 km from the historical centre of Arequipa. Workaway doesn’t actually work here very well, so he was among the 10 applications I made, the only one that responded so far. Introductory meeting was cool though very challenging. And by very challenging I mean VERY. So even though I enjoyed his company the effort to understand anything was so big, that after hour and a half I decided to cut off my suffering and returned to hostel I was staying in by that time.
Next day, with my batteries charged and attitude positive as possible I moved to Jamies house and started a new chapter in Peru.
Arequipa is Peru’s second biggest city framed by 3 volcanoes having quite gorgeous names: Chachani, Mistic and Pichu Pichu (I love Peruvian cute names for cities and volcanoes so far).
Coming here from the sea level based places you can feel the change of altitude, as Arequipa is placed on 2.335 m above. You might experience headache, shortness of breath, some stomach problems, slower digestion, fatigue, nausea. This is all caused by decreased amount of oxygen when getting higher up to the mountains. Usually this will appear around 10 hours after arriving and will last for 1 to 3 days. It’s been 4th day here, I still feel a bit fatigued and my digestion is not as I’d like it to be but don’t worry, this will quickly pass as you start enjoying the city (that’s what I’m telling myself) and that’s what some smart-websites say.
Why I didn’t like Lima? Well… ask me what I liked there, the list will be just much shorter. Mostly because of the huge pollution level, amount of truly crazy cars and noise. Also unfortunately in Lima I didn’t feel very safe. Hard to say why, as nothing bad happened while 3 weeks there (maybe because I just didn’t go out at all? That could be possibly the reason hmm). Just people’s warnings, opinions and my intuition combined made me look around alerted all the time.
Arequipa, in spite of my expectations, is not as calm and tranquil as I thought, though there is a difference between Lima and I can already see – it’s bit more friendly for my ears and eyes. But my lungs.. sorry Arequipa. I have no idea what are your pollution restrictions for cars but I bet you have none. Every second vehicle produces this black cloud of exhaust that you can literally get lost in. All together combined just give me a constant headache, but I will still give you a chance!
Baños Termales Yura – Thermal Baths
Sleepy and not-well-rested after the short and noisy night, I had a breakfast downstairs in the kitchen with Jamie, his 70ish year old mama and two fellow travellers I met the day before. That was an Argentinian – US couple travelling with their cool, old Ford across the Americas.
Once we all packed into the car, we were heading to the city called Yura, approximately 25 km north from Arequipa. Due to the traffic (did I mention it is quite bad?) it took us more than one hour to get to the place, but we have finally done it. It’s gonna be great! Hot springs, thermal baths, good that I took my camera! Sun and nutrition for my skin, mineral waters… wait stop. Nothing was even close to what I expected.
We found ourselves in a small, quite cute city (or rather few houses along the road) but those amazing Baños Termales turned out to be four dirty, smelly, full-of-old-people tiny pools. Few people in one pool was equal a human-soup. You could barely see the water. Look at that…
So if you find yourself reading about the place and considering it as an amazing trip for a day, stop it. I mean go for it only if your fetish includes exchanging pieces of plankton-like things and white, unknown sediment with other old Peruvians. Don’t get me wrong! I’m still alive (so far) and at the end of the day this was truly unique experience finished with Aji de Calabaza (eggs, veggies, beans and cheese with rice) in a totally Peruvian, small restaurant nearby. All completed by a glass of amazing fermented Chincha Morada.
Well.. so if you didn’t hurt your ears (or eyes) so far, follow more Peruvian (and not only) stories, be patient about my English and enjoy the rest of the day!