Arequipa - Day 103-104

Trip Start Jan 31, 2008
Trip End Ongoing

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Hostal Lari

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Monday, April 20, 2009

Day 103 - 19/04/09

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. The old colonial building is constructed out of volcanic rock collected from the surrounding volcanically active area. My room is like a wine cellar with a vaulted ceiling and a circular sky light, it's basic but ooze's character.

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.
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Bree on

is that it???

christosp on

No, i've just been lazy! Over the next couple of months i plan to get up-to-date on my entries.

Since this last entry i headed into Bolivia, back into Argentina, to Europe for a few months, a 20,000 mile road trip around all of the lower 48 states in the US and then western Canada. Next stop the middle east, I leave in a couple of weeks!

breanna on

well you have a bit of catch up to do! get cracking!

james.. on

Hey.. when are you going to post more entries?

christosp on

It's a "Work in progress", more entries on the way soon!

James.. on

Great Stuff.. looking forward to it hope it won't be too much longer.

Gloria on

Hey awsome blog! Congrats!
Did you get to go the Salares de Uyuni??
How is Peru and Bolivia for travel by your own, by bus??
Cause im planig a trip by my own, but I am thinking in take bus from Cuzco, Peru to Uyuni, Bolivia, do you think is a good idea?

christosp on

Thanks Gloria! I did visit Uyuni, which has to be once of the the most awesome landscapes on this little planet. You can catch a series of buses to the salt flats from Cusco but once you leave Peru the roads and buses become a little uncomfortable, although very cheap. I travel solo and had no safety concerns in either country but don't take this for granted and just be alert.

Book your Salar Jeep trip in Uyuni not La Paz, you'll pay around 20% more if you book in the capital and take some warm clothes, when i was there it was -15 at night!

Hope this help you're travel planning and have a great trip!

standbytraveler on

Hello christop!
Did u get to Machu Pichu in your trip??
Du you know how much is the cost of the train form Cuzco to Machu Puchu and if is that true that you have to book it in advance, because then we will have to wait some days to get a place??
Im planing in going second week of sept, is not high season I think
But i will prefer book it right there

standbytraveler on

Thanks cphilippou, that actually works!!
Let u know how everything goes!

James.. on

C'mom man more entries!! Ya can't leave us hangin!

christosp on

James, i'm on it! The last year on the road has made me a little lazy on the writing front. I'll get it done eventually!

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