Arequippa, Peru

Trip Start Jun 16, 2007
Trip End Nov 13, 2007

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Friday, June 22, 2007

Wednesday 20th June - Friday 22nd June

Arrived in Arequipa on the overnight bus to be met by hostel owner in the bus terminal.  Quick taxi from station to hostel, no problems as demonstration only just beginning - just saw one bonfire in middle of road outside bus terminal, and demonstrators gathering.

Hostel nice, room basic and bathroom pretty squalid, but a fantastic roof terrace with hammocks and great views over mountain and volcano! 
View from hostel roof terrace
First day in Arequipa very quiet, protest meant no traffic and most shops and businesses closed.  Safely witnessed protest passing from our roof terrace.  Protest called off at 4pm as government apparently dropped gas prices to avoid another day of protest.

Second day much more lively.  Arequipa is a lovely city, with 360 days of sunshine a year, quite touristy and feels a bit like a holiday.  Lovely restaurants and bars, and a great plaza to people watch.  Still quite mad though, masses of taxis (tiny cars!), and a noisy city. no shortage of taxis!

Plaza De Armas

Booked our first tour - 3 days in the Colca Canyon, which is the 2nd deepest canyon in the world (twice as deep as grand canyon apparently).  Despite it taking only 2 days to trek to bottom of canyon and back up again, it was described as a pretty casual stroll when we purchased our tickets from the tour office!   Really looking forward to trip.

Third day in Arequipa we visited the nunnery (we´re doing lots of the cultural things!) - about 4 acres and a real citadel within a city.  About 400 nuns lived there, and only opened to public quite recently.  We´re a bit vague on the details!
Claire in the nunnery
Acclimatising to altitude (2,300m) and so quite a lazy few days in Arequipa before our first trek.....

P.s We have loads more photos would love to share but internet speed over here for uploading pics painfully slow!!!
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