Puno and Arequipa, Peru

I was going to just title this post Peru, but that would’ve been even more misleading than my post called Uruguay, since I saw even less here than I did there.

I was welcomed to the country by walking through an archway, which seemed to be a thing, at least in the southern part of the country.

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One of the most unusual things I noticed were the mototaxis, which I know are super common in parts of Asia but less so in South America.

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Also parked in the middle of the street are markets! Come to think of it, I don’t know too many cities where they made the streets too wide, so that they now park things in the median permanently. It definitely adds some character, even if I wouldn’t want to spend a lot of time in the middle of a street myself.

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Although being hit by a mototaxi probably wouldn’t be the worst thing either.

At night in Puno there was a massive outdoor market; and by massive, I mean it stretched over a mile long.

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Among the artisanal products being sold were rare artifacts from the pre-Incan tribe Rovio Ltd.

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The Rovio people called the red ones Angry Birds, which had to do with a belief that birds were upset with humans and would dive-bomb their crates of grain and quinoa.

One of the most popular stands there was one belonging to a psychic, who among other things promised to improve sexual performance.

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Cannot comment on the efficacy personally.

The next day I headed on to Arequipa, which has a deceptively beautiful main square.

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Deceptively, because it’s the most pigeon-infested public place I’ve been to.

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The picture doesn’t do it justice since you’re actually surrounded on all sides by them; when you stand there their cooing meshes together into one eerie tone that makes you feel like you’re in a dark cave somewhere.

Arequipa also has the cheapest AND biggest gym I’ve ever been to; with a $0.60 entry and no less than 6 group training rooms all offering classes simultaneously, it was impressive in several ways.

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I headed back to Chile a few days later, where I got to see the Peruvian countryside and it also presumably pre-Incan advertisements.

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They’re really worried about fruit flies, so at one point we had to get off the bus to be searched for fruits.

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And at the border bus terminal, people were loaded up with goods to bring to Chile, which are much cheaper to purchase in Peru.

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I’ll end the post with two of my favorite parts of Peruvian cuisine: ceviche (raw fish served in vinegar), and pisco sour (an amazing brandy cocktail made in part with whipped egg whites, lemon juice, and syrup).

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The only time in life when I’ll happily eat raw onions.

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I’m thirsty again.

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