Published: June 5th 2010June 5th 2010
Bike-transported Propane Tanks
Why haven´t we done this in America yet? Genius!
Greetings from Arequipa! After an uninteresting day in Lima, I realized why it was uninteresting: because major cities are all western-style and boring! I booked a 15-hr overnight bus to Arequipa, in the south of peru. I called Roxana to tell her I´d phone when I returned to Lima, bought some food and was off. Pariwana (my hostel in Lima) had a travel agent that helped me book - in general they were great, albeit a little too ultra-hip-traveller for me (nirvana, the doors and aerosmith playing 24-7, with Nsync thrown in for good measure).
The bus was alright - comfy seats, I brought along my own yummy food (peanut butter (yes, peanut butter), avocado, cheese, crackers and some pita-style bread), the movies were awful american movies but alas I woke up in a new place, MUCH more fun and exciting than Lima. Along the way I made friends with a couple from Canada, bonding over the terrible american movie (Cabin Fever... its not even bad enough to be funny, its just bad). We all found our bags together and shared a taxi to the Plaza de Armas (the center of the town, and of most peruvian town, and probably
Plaza de Armas, Arequipa
A beautiful spot with some really happy dude walking through.
south america in general). Immediately a young woman came up to us telling us about a hostel and I automatically said no but my canadian friend actually listened and she had a good deal and we went with her to the hostel. Its close to the center, cheap and nice. 15 nuevas soles (appr 5 usd) per night. She also just happened to have some information on trips to a nearby area so we booked a two day trip to the canyon de colca.
Once settled, we ate some of the food we had with us, my friends introdued me to a local fruit called Cherimoyo which is absolutely delicious - its like candy. He told me that it doesn´t ship well and can´t be grown elsewhere so you can´t find it in North America. You´ll have to come down here to try it or trust me but its delicious. Or wait a few years and they´ll have engineered the shit out of it and you´ll have a hard, bland and shiny version of this fruit in your local supermarket in no time.
We wandered around the town for a while, got ice cream and made our way
Fearing my Canadian friends wouldn´t get it, I chose not to punch of them and call out 'blue punch buggy no punch backs.'
to the Museo Santury - where we learned about an archeological team that found multiple inca sacrificed bodies in the mountains and one in particular - Juanita - who was completely preserved in the frozen ice. We larned about the sacrifice rituals, their purpose (to appease the mountain gods who were spewing angry ash via a nearby volcano) and about the team that found it and brought it back. After the video we were lead into the next room where we saw many of the pottery they were buried with, a lot of the clothing and toys as well. Then into another room where we saw - in a refrigerated glass chamer - Juanita herself. The very very well preserved body of a 12 year old inca girl who was sacrified 550 years ago. You could see her hair, her skin, her teeth. It was unbeleivable. If you don´t beleive that this is true - the video was made by national geographic, I´m sure you can find it somewhere. This was really incredible and, unfortunately, not documents with photos because they don´t allow cameras inside. Use your imagination - its probably not far from the truth of what she looked
Sort of like that graduation arch at rutgers...
An archway throughwich a nun walked to take her vow of silence. I saw no arch of celibacy, or if I did, I subconsciously avoided it.
Then I split with my canadians friends who wanted to check out a nearby park while i was enticed by a very old and huge and pretty monestery 'La Monesty de Santa Catalina' or something. The price was steep (double what im paying for a hostel) but for some reason I wanted to see the inside anyway. The halls were beautiful and I don´t regret going in- I got lots of great pictures, but I did remember how much churches and church'regalia creep me out (sorry).
I left quicker than I should have for how much I paid then found this internet cafe. Vwalla! We are all caught up! I won´t be updating for a couple days now, so you´ll have to find some other way to occupy your time.
Thanks for occupying it this way for a little bit!
There are more photos below