Today was mostly a travel day. The sun was up early as usual so we actually were up and going by 6:30 or 7. We spent the morning packing and checking stuff for our flight to Arequipa. There was a bunch of confusion as somehow I got bumped off the 2:20 flight to the 3:35 flight with no warning. I had to call customer service to try to figure out what was going on and if I was even on a flight, and even after that I couldn’t complete my online check-in. So I was a bit worried. Then, we realized that Kelsey, even though she had checked in online the day before, also got bumped to the 3:35 flight! And we didn’t book our flights together, so that seemed really random. Neither of us had any notice from LAN, which was more than disconcerting and made us pretty nervous heading to the airport.
We had to check out of the hotel at 10 a.m. so we spent the next 2 hours wandering and shopping (I’m cut off from buying any more though!). We met Persis and Allan for lunch at 12 before heading to the airport. That was nice. They filled us in on their time in Aguas Calientes and told us about Arequipa and the Colca Canyon since they had been there before coming to Cusco.
Around 1:00 it was off to the airport! Luckily, there was no drama with our flight and we got off ok. We never did figure out what happened though. The flight had a brief stopover in Julaiac and overall went very quickly. We landed in Arequipa – the smallest airport in the world, I swear – around 5:30 and a rep from the Casa Andina Classic was there to meet us. We got to the hotel with just enough time to change and freshen up before dinner with Liz – a friend of some friends of Kelsey’s parents. Liz met us at the hotel at 6:30 together with her uncle who doesn’t speak any English. They took us to a restaurant called Carlitos in a complex called Montenero (I think!). Dinner was ok – I got beef ribs, my third straight ribs meal following lamb ribs on Friday night and pork ribs for lunch on Saturday. The conversation wasup and dwn due to some of the language differential, but Liz’s uncle was a riot nonetheless. We bonded over the fact that he and I were drinking our Pisco Sours much faster than Liz and Kelsey.