Cold as Ice!

Trip Start Sep 12, 2005
Trip End Aug 15, 2006

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Flag of Peru  ,
Tuesday, June 13, 2006

By the time we arrived in Arequipa it was pretty late so we checked into a hotel and hit the hay. The next day we went in search of some breakfast and ended up in the Plaza de Armas. It is a beautiful square with an enormous cathedral. Arequipa is called the "White City" because most of the city´s colonial buildings are built from a light coloured volcanic rock called sillar that dazzles in the sun.

That afternoon after a few world cup matches we visited Monasterio de Santa Catalina. Founded in 1580 this convent is dubbed a city within a city where the richest nuns from the wealthiest families lived it up in the style they had been accustomed to until the good old Dominicans arrived and sorted them out! It was pretty impressive but not worth the 8 quid entrance fee.

That night we sampled some of the bars and nightclubs in Arequipa. The next day we went to the Museo Santuarios Andinos, home of Juanita the Ice Princess, the frozen Inca maiden sacrificed on the summit of Mt Amputo 6288m, over 500 years ago.
Juanita is in great shape for 500 something with her skin, hair and nails still visibly intact. For the Incas, mountains were gods who could kill by volcanic eruption or avalanche. These deities could only be appeased by sacrifices and now over 20 child sacrifices have been discovered on various Andean mountains since 1954. The museum was well worth a visit. There is lots to do in Arequipa such as the trip into the Colca Canyon-the world´s deepest or you can climb 2 6,000m mountains, Misti and Chanchani. As much as we wanted to we are really pushed for time in not only Peru but South America overall, so some things you can do and some you can´t but there is always the next time!
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