Arequipa - Day 103-104
Trip Start Jan 31, 2008
254Trip End Ongoing
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Arrived in Arequipa this morning as the sun was rising after another overnight bus ride in Peru. Recently I've gone all posh and been traveling on the expensive (for Peru) "Cruz del Sur" buses which are five times cheaper than the expensive Brazilian buses and to be honest far better.
Arequipa is the home to numerous 6000 metre volcanoes, geothermal hot springs, beautiful religious colonial architecture, and the biggest canyons in the world, even bigger than the Grand Canyon in the US!! This place has it all and over the coming days I hope to have a good explore of the city and the surrounding area.
I've found an amazing place to stay in the centre of town called Hostel Lary
Had a great breakfast overlooking Plaza de Armas, the skies were completely clear and the peaks of the surrounding volcanoes were poking out over the roofs of the impressive colonial churches and buildings. What a beautiful spot!
Had to have a siesta after breakfast, feeling completely drained after very little sleep over the last couple of days on the buses. In the afternoon I had a good explore of this picturesque city, just wandered around aimlessly on the cobbled streets. Tomorrow I'll investigate the trekking options around Arequipa at the tour agencies and visit "Monastery Santa Catarina" which is a walled citadel within the city centre. Hopefully I'll be feeling a little less tired tomorrow after a good night sleep.
Day 104 - 20/04/09
This morning I visited monastery Santa Catarina, A 400 year old citadel surrounded by high walls in the centre of town. The monastery was founded by a wealthy Spanish family in the 16th century after the colonisation. Spent all morning in the monastery wandering around this maze like complex which is like a self contained city with small streets, kitchens, laundry, hospital and cemetery. The nuns who lived in the monastery weren't permitted to leave, hence all the infrastructure to allow the nuns to have a comfortable life without having to leave the high volcanic stone walls of the monastery.
After leaving Santa Catarina visited the many travel agencies around Plaza de Armas to check out treks in Canyon country. Managed to find an outfit who appeared to be professional for a 3 day trek into one of the biggest canyon's in the world, the Cocha canyon. I leave tomorrow morning at a crazy 3.30am. The rest of the day was spent buying some supplies for the trek and just relaxing and enjoying this picturesque city. Need to try and get an early night tonight before the ridiculously early start tomorrow morning.