Published: January 30th 2012January 26th 2012
After the effort we had put into the Colca Canyon tour, we quite fancied just kicking back and getting some rest. This however was going to be near impossible as before we left for the tour, we decided that as New Years was approaching that we should book into the party Hostel ‘Wild Rover’. Being 30 years of age, making a reservation to a place like this did lead to some concerns on our part, would we be able to keep up with the youngsters here? We’re no longer 19 and therefore not quite as ‘crazy ‘as perhaps we used to be, but we figured as we had a quite Christmas maybe we could cope with a more raucous New Years!
So, the first night back from the tour we got to our room, had overdue showers and decided to check the Hostels bar out. Sitting in there with our beer, we were quite happy with our choice as the atmosphere seemed good, there were plenty of people around and most importantly, we didn’t appear to be ‘too old’ for this place!
New Year’s Eve was upon us and our Hostel was of course holding a party. The theme
for this party was Yellow. It seems that in Peru, yellow is the choice of colour as it brings luck for the coming year and therefore Donna and I needed to do a quick bit of shopping for some yellow attire. Our bags were already overflowing with stuff and buying more clothes seemed crazy, but as we didn’t own a yellow piece of clothing between us it was essential. Eventually after looking round the streets for a while we came across a shop similar to Primark back home and managed to get ourselves a couple of t-shirts for a very reasonable price and were therefore ready and raring to PARTY!
Before we partied though, Dennis had recommended that we go see ‘Juanita’ in the town, as it was the last day we had to see her and was a must see. Juanita was a girl of around 12-13 years of age that was sacrificed to the Gods by the Incas hundreds of years ago. She was placed high up in the mountains in Peru as an offering to the gods and may never have been found again were it not for an American explorer who whilst on an expedition
up the mountain fairly recently, happened to stumble upon her by pure luck, she had been moved by an earthquake and fallen down the mountain a short distance and was laying pretty much uncovered. As she had been there for hundreds of years at 6000 metres above sea level she was frozen solid and therefore very much as she had been left, with all her skin and organs preserved. The museum that we visited had an awesome collection of findings around the burial site as well as Juanita herself, mummified in a glass container. It was really quite a strange sight to see, however we were both really happy that this was recommended to us, as it was one of the best museums we had been to in a while.
So, after our afternoon of culture it was time to party. Dennis had decided to stick around, plus our friend Helen from the Inca trail was getting to the Wild Rover after her Canyon trek too, so we already had a few people to celebrate with. After a few beers at the bar, we decided that getting food would be a wise decision before getting too drunk and we
went and met a few other guys from Helen’s trek and had ourselves some Mexican food. After this, we decided to go back to the hostel to see what the mood was like and how the party was progressing….. it was carnage! The party was in full swing and everybody was hammered! All the Kiwis in the bar were down to just their pants and there was a ‘firework display’ that was so dangerous that I doubt it would have even passed Peru’s safety standards…. And believe me they do not do health and safety here! There was also one fella in the bar (only in his pants) that decided his party trick was due and therefore proceeded to do some ‘Fire trucking’. For those not up on this performance it consisted purely of this guy pissing his pants in the middle of the party purely for giggles….Mental!
This all came to a bit of an abrupt end anyhow as the hostel had to close down at 11pm….on New Year’s Eve..? When we asked why we had to get out of the place it was explained to us that the police would be around any moment looking for bribes
if they had any drunk people on the premises, even though the place was fully licenced…. Another example of the way things work over here. So, along with the guys that we went to dinner with we all decided to spend the next couple of hours in the main plaza of Arequipa. This was where many of the locals and travellers came for 12am and we thought it would be a good place to be. There were plenty of things going on in the square and before the celebrations I managed to sit on Santa’s lap as well as dance with a local dance duo who were performing to hundreds of people on the square! I’m certain she wasn’t entirely sure what to do when I produced my Beyonce style ‘ass shake’, but we all had a laugh anyway!
By 11.45pm, we decided we needed a drink in our hand for midnight and so we headed up to a bar overlooking the square which had a great view and good atmosphere, we ordered a local Pisco sour each to see in the New Year. All around us there were fireworks going off in every direction and it was carnage
down in the square, however there didn’t seem to be any official countdown, so we just decided to make one up and all celebrated to what was probably not quite 12am!
After the celebrations calmed down a tad we decided to hit a club near the hostel where everyone had gone after being chucked out of Wild Rover called Frogs. Here we partied like fools half our age until the wee hours of the morning….. A great way to welcome in a New Year. Hola 2012!
There are more photos below