This will be a shorter blog post as we spent nearly 12 hours in the car today getting to Arequipa, where we were met with burning tires, boulders strewn in the roads, and people blocking all traffic. Overall we are fine, although I don’t think I’ve ever been in the center or near this type of activity before. Our hotel is safe as well as the car- so we might bunker here until Sunday then head up/out to lake Titicaca.
We spent the last couple of days continuing to drive through the biggest desert that is dry and devoid of life. You drive down a huge cliff of switchbacks to get to Iquehue. When there we stayed at almost a resort feeling hotel for us- a holiday inn express. It was very nice. Next door? A dominoes pizza!! We ended up eating two medium pizzas between the four of us, but it tasted just like the states so everyone was happy. We made it to the free trade zone and I managed to buy some new rope to make new shoelaces. (See other post). I also bought a go pro camera and mounted it to the rack on top of the car. Tomorrow I’ll try to figure out how to get pictures off it.
We left iquehue and drove the 5 hours to Arica. This is the last city/town before Peru. We just spent a night, got to walk the beach and hang out. Not much happening there, so we bailed this am to Peru.
We made it here, saw lots of police and even the army guarding spots. Where we were stopped and tires were being burned in the road there were no police at all. We were fine, hung out in/around the car. Spent tonight reading news about the protests, where things are happening,etc. looks like the square that’s two blocks away is where it starts at 11 am, so I think we might have some quality time in our hotel tomorrow. I completely understand why they are striking- outside companies (including usa) want to open a huge copper mine here, the locals say it will hurt agriculture, etc. it has turned violent with protestors dying. I was speaking with our hotel guy tonight, talking about the protests, etc. he doesn’t want them and it’s bad if tourists don’t come. Of course I said look at the usa- people are burning police cars in the street, so what’s better?
Anyway. That’s it. Not much else is happening. Cindy managed to step in some dog dung while waiting around today and we got to experience her new smell while driving on very windy roads in the dark. She then proceeded to walk thru the lobby (very small)- where later after checking in we kept hearing an aerosol can being sprayed… We just ate a whole chicken (delivered) with French fries- on our beds while watching cartoons. It is scout camp!!!