Step 3: Explore Arequipa

August 16, 2015


We’ve done a little bit of exploring. There’s much more to see, but we’re really trying not to look like tourists. It’s not like I have blonde hair and blue eyes or anything. 

Over the last two days we’ve walked about fifteen miles (24.14 km) seeing various places around the city.

We know how to get to Plaza Vea which is a grocery store.  They’ve got a lot of basic stuff here. It’s kind of like a Safeway or something. They also sell some of your basic small home appliances here. You can buy fresh bread for like $.30USD. We don’t typically eat bread, but since we have no idea how to cook Peruvian food yet we’ve bought bread twice now. Haha. Peru sells their milk on shelves in the aisle, as in it’s not refrigerated. Kind of freaky, kind of awesome. We also saw quail eggs and chicken eggs on a shelf at the check-out. This is normal. (Oh, and the egg yolks are the brightest orange I have ever seen – even compared to our backyard chickens!)

The woman in the deli at Plaza Vea was incredibly sweet trying to work with us as we asked for chicken without pork in it for Bear. We kept trying to find different ways to say “pollo sin jamón por favor.” Poor lady; she had no idea what we were asking for. We had no idea what she was saying. Finally we were able to figure out a couple words with the help of our pocket dictionary, and he asked for turkey instead of chicken. Then, she asked us how many grams we wanted. Grams? Crap. She tried asking us how many kilos. Shoot. We guessed and said, “100 grams.” When she finally handed us the turkey there were about four slices in it. Haha. All that work for four slices of turkey.

We really have to learn Spanish.

We really have to learn the metric system.

We can also get to Metro by foot. This is another grocery store type of place. It’s more like a mini-Walmart (and it has two stories.) Metro a lot of gluten-free options which is awesome. What is weird though is they had no peanut butter. They had jelly and all sorts of other sandwich toppings but no peanut butter.

Our friend, Bee, says this is common. Stores have strange assortments of things. She said it would be helpful to have an app or website that mapped out the city of Arequipa for expats, so we know where to go to find what and for what price. Bear? I’m thinking we you should consider making this.

We’ve been to Maestro as well (a Home Depot type store) where we found an adaptor.

We’ve been to a couple different banks. We went to one to get USD, but they were out of USD. Then we went to another bank, and they had USD. Now we need to exchange our USD for Soles. The currency exchange rate right now is about 3.20 Soles for every 1USD. The best way to do it seems to be to take USD from el banco and bring it to a place where you can exchange dollars because you get more for your money.

Something about Peru: If your dollar bill has even a tiny rip or tear in it, they will not accept it to exchange. We walked to Plaza de Armas. It’s Arequipa’s 475th birthday this weekend, and the city had over one million people (many who were/are visiting.) Well, we tried to exchange 15USD for Soles so we could get some little things here and there, and they would not take my $10!

Okay, this post is too long already. We’re doing some exploring, and there is much more to explore.

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