Arequipa Day 2

Trip Start Oct 13, 2007
Trip End Feb 15, 2008

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Monday, November 19, 2007

Up 900 and breakfast on the hotel terrace which had a pretty good view of the city and the surrounding volcanos.  At 1100 headed to this shopping mall with Jane and Woz to check out the movies there and it was small but it was very neat and clean.  A lot of the group had gone there to buy this and that (Michael, forexample, had ripped his only pair of pants through the middle during volleyball and someone else needed a camera.)  No new movies so I hopped in a cab and headed for some proper sightseeing at the Santa Catalina Convent.  This is like a miniature walled town in the centre of the city where in the past (opened 1650(?)) up to 450 nuns lived in seclusion with there female servents.  Nowadays there areonly 30 and they have retreated to a small section of the 2 hectares during the day so the tourist dollar can roll in and keep the place going (earthquake repairs in the past have cost a lot apparently -they opened up in 1970). Lots of lovely white stone, cobbled streets, flowered decked cloisters and such.  I had a guide all to myself so I could ask lotsof questions (but she wouldn´t say how so many nuns were naughty (it wastradition for rich families to send their 2nd (?) born girl here and a lot didn´t want to go so I have the feeling they lived it up a bit!)  After the 1.5 hr tour had a lovely salad and coffee and cake in the outside cafateria (still in the convent) - singing canary and all.  Very peaceful!
Headed back to the hotel and chatted to Michael and Jo on the roof for a while, we´´ve pretty much done all we want to here but it is nice to not have to have to do something.  Chilled in the room for a while then headed up to the room for sunset (about 6) and did a nice series of photos of a spectacular sunset.  Then I headed back into town looking for a mobile store (Claro) and once again no one spoke much english but I thought I got my point across and they did something to my phone and input a code of another card I had to pay for (only $4US this time) but the ffffing thing still doesn´t work.  Arrgh!!  I will be in Cusco in a couple of days and the place is lousy with tourists so I will be able to find someone I can talk to then I think.  Checked out the hotel but I had been so intent on sorting out this phone thing (it had been part of the chill out time) I had not arranged anything with anyone so headed of to a pizza restaurant I had seen earlier and had a small pizza and a water (this was deliberate, seriously, this might be the first day without alcohol since I started traveling, however, I had been chewing cocoa leaves (yes, the ones you proc-ss into cocaine) earlier and had a bit of a buzz going on in my head!)  Back to my room by 8-830 and watched some Episode 2 on cable - bit disappointed the phone wsn´t working still but happy to have some time to myself (Mike was out watching a movie).  Early day tomorrow so bed 1100.
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