Arequipa, Peru – Big birds

Peru isn’t really blessed with wildlife. The coast is inhabited or plastered with chicken farms. The Andes are emptied by hunting and eating. The more we enjoy our ride through the mountains. Now and again shy vicuñas cross our path and three condors circle for us completely free. A small flamingo colony lives on a red salt lake. After crossing several passes close to 5,000 m the road descends slowly to the Pan Am, crossing several climatic zones from mountain grass via trees and cacti to just desert.

Despite the crazy Peruvian drivers we make it without accident into Arequipa’s centre where Hostal Las Mercedes offers camping on its parking lot – there aren’t many options in town. The hostel is situated favourably close to the city centre, unfortunately also close to a heavily used main road. The grassy camping zone is behind a wall neighbouring this road, but the receptionist allows us to camp next to the hotel building behind a kind of embankment. That’s not only further from the road, the embankment protects from the noise. Furthermore we have full Wi-Fi reception here that declines towards the camper are. Uniform price incl. water, electricity, bathroom, hot shower and internet are 22 PEN per person and night. Staff is friendly, campers are treated like regular hotel guests. Hostal Las Mercedes, Arequipa: S 16°24’02.7’’ W 71°32’31.2’’.

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