A combination of guidebooks, Trip Advisor and a recommendation from some friends helped us book our accommodation in Arequipa.
It’s lovely and when they found out we are on our honeymoon they upgraded our room! It’s not happened that much on the trip, but enough to make you mention it if you get chance!
As well as accommodation it also houses a Peruvian Cooking school that again was recommended as well as featuring in the Lonely Planet (even better you get a discount of 20% for being a resident). For an additional charge you can add a market tour and a Pisco sour making course – well it will be rude not to.
We are joined by an Austrian lady (Maria) and too young Germans (Melissa and Michelle) and head off under the expert guidance of Natty.
The markets tour is amazing. We did a guided market tour in Buenos Aires but this is much better, partly because the market is far more varied, and also because Natty organises to let you taste things as you are going round.
Some of the more interesting areas we see are the butchers with chickens spliced open to show that they are hens (you can see partially grown eggs inside); the fruit section is extraordinary with lots of stuff that you cannot even get at Waitrose (it is THAT exotic); dried llama foetuses (to be used as offerings to the gods); and lastly frog juice.
Warning! Do not be fooled into thinking this is a euphemism for some kind of green smoothie.
This is actual frog juice. A juice made of actual frog.
You get to pick the poor unfortunate amphibian, who then gets killed, gutted and blended in front of you (makes the what is green and red and goes 100mph joke seem a little too close to the truth). A quick sieve (to remove bone etc) and there you go. A health drink that apparently helps improve digestion. Not sure that this will be a variety of Innocent anytime soon.
I spend a period of time debating whether I want to taste this or not and it prompts a rather long discussion on Nik’s Facebook page.
Back at the accommodation our Anglo-Germanic-Austrian alliance get on well and whilst chatting and laughing we whip up a couple of great local dishes under the guidance of Monica before relaxing and eat the fruits of our labour in the garden. This was our second cookery class in S.America and I would recommend anyone travelling to look out for similar options wherever you are. If you’re interested here’s the link to the class… http://www.peruviancookingexperience.com
Four new Facebook friends later we are the only people doing the Pisco course. Given I was made to dance whilst shaking the cocktail I will be forever grateful for this fact.
Niki did the whole Tom Cruise thing better than I did and threw some impressive shapes whilst making a mean Pisco Sour. I’ll admit to being a little light-headed by the end!