Blogs from Arequipa, Arequipa, Peru, South America

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South America » Peru » Arequipa » Arequipa April 2nd 2014

Days 43 - 44 Nazca is a pretty soulless town with not much of interest due to being newer than the colonial towns we have been visiting so far. The town seems to be only geared for the tourist trade including sand boarding and buggies in the nearby desert hills. Wandered around much of the same areas as yesterday waiting for our afternoon local bus trip to Arequipa. While an 11 hr trip & a midnight arrival we were ready to move on from Nazca. The trip was quite interesting. Initially out of Nazca it seemed to be endless flat desert landscape on both sides with a sand storm blowing & passing occasional shanty settlements. The road then moved closer to the coast with endless whitecap crashing into the mainly rocky shore for the next several ... read more
Cloister Murals
Cloister Murals
Cloister Murals

South America » Peru » Arequipa » Arequipa March 6th 2014

1 March 2014 - Saturday – Puno to Arequipa, Peru Noisy vibrant bus station; Arequipa-quipa-quipa-quipa-Arequipa! Vicuna zone; volcano; 295 kilometres. Drop in elevaton from 3830 km to 2380 km above sea level. Arequipa second largest city in Peru, population just under one million people. Like the ‘Republic’ of Cork, the people here fondly refer to themselves as citizens of the ‘Republic of Arequipa’. The scenery between the two cities is flat prairies and mountain plateaus with long-range vistas of distant volcanoes and one snow-capped mountain peak called Nevado Mismi Mountain (5597 meters, 18,363 feet above sea level). The road descends from the Altiplano highlands through the Salinas and Aguada Blanca Nature Reserve to the ‘white city’ of Arequipa. . Along the way is the natural habitat of the vicuna, one of two wild South American camelids ... read more
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South America » Peru » Arequipa » Arequipa February 21st 2014

Drifting, dreaming, I wandered the labyrinth of geranium-lined, cobbled streets, sinking into cool azure cloisters, exploring century's old kitchens, baths, patios and the cells of long-dead nuns, servants and slaves. The 16c, high-walled Santa Catalina Convent was a huge city unto itself, and a tranquil respite from the traffic and noise of big city Arequipa. Entrance was pricey, so I took a book on the lives of women mystic saints and spent the day lounging, reading and exploring. I walked mindfully around the various cloisters, feeling both rooted in the present and open to infinity. After sundown, I stepped back in time as fireplaces were lit and rooms illuminated by candle. Heavenly! The buildings of this World Heritage Site, like many in Arequipa, were of sillar, a soft, white volcanic stone, and had beautiful, barrel roofs ... read more
through the window, darkly
looking like blue Chefchouan, Morocco
geraniums lined the cobbled streets

South America » Peru » Arequipa » Arequipa January 8th 2014

An action packed day began with a boat trip to Ballestas Island (sometimes known as the poor man's Galapagos Island) to see an assortment or wildlife. There was also a truck sweepstake to see who was going to be the first to be pooped on by the thousands of birds that fly above or around the island and I was relieved that it was a near miss for me and i returned to dry land with my clothes and hair intact. The sight of the rocks simply covered by cormorans, penguins, pelicans and blue footed boobies and took my breath away. I also wondered whether I may have been a sea lion in another life as I watched them sunbathe on the rocks! We travelled to Huacachina in the early afternoon to the sand dunes for ... read more

South America » Peru » Arequipa » Arequipa October 27th 2013

I left the Llama Education Spanish School this morning about 9:30 am and started walking. Semi-random walk. I had a rough route in mind. I'd been to the center plaza and wanted to see the neighborhoods around them. I knew the river divided the city and it was pretty steep on either side. I took the first downhill street and just kept going, avoiding big roads and turning onto streets that looked like neighborhoods. I rarely used the map, occasionally checking progress to make sure I wasn't headed in circles. Arequipa has excellent street name signage. At most intersections there are street signs, even the small neighborhoods and most houses have the street name just below the house number. OK... I wrote the above paragraph, which then morphed into a separate blog, "How to Explore a ... read more
Shoelace heaven...
Shoelace vendor
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South America » Peru » Arequipa » Arequipa September 23rd 2013

Eindelijk tijd voor mijn eerste blog! Het bevalt me hier super, ik heb al heel wat gezien en vooral veel leuke mensen ontmoet. Veel andere reizigers, maar ook veel Peruanen. In het begin was ik een beetje argwanend als ik zomaar werd aangesproken, maar ze blijken gewoon nieuwsgierig. Nu ga ik soms zelfs op een bankje op het Plaza de Armas zitten om spaans te oefenen, succes verzekerd! Op dit moment ben ik in Arequipa, de eerste stad die ik echt leuk vind, dus ik ben er al bijna een week. Ze hebben hier een prachtig koloniaal klooster, de Inca-mummie Juanita en heel veel lekker eten. Nu ben ik eigenlijk vooral van mijn spierpijn aan het herstellen na een trek naar de Colca Canyon. Deze canyon is twee keer zo diep als de Grand Canyon, dus ... read more
Santa Catalina klooster in Arequipa
Islas Ballestas
Colca Canyon

South America » Peru » Arequipa » Arequipa August 30th 2013

Heute in einer Woche bin ich schon am Heimweg. Momentan bin ich in Arequipa und warte auf meinem Bus nach Cabanaconde, der um ein Uhr nachts losfaehrt. In Cabanaconde befindet sich der Colca Canyon, den ich aus Zeitgruenden bei meinem ersten Besuch in Arequipa auslassen musste. Ob ich ein oder zwei Tage bleibe werde ich spontan entscheiden. Danach gehts auf jeden Fall direkt nach Lima. Meine restlichen Tage in La Paz waren ruhig, aber sehr interessant. Ich habe zuerst das Projekt PAV-4-14 besucht, wo eine Tagesbetreuung von Kindern von hilfsbeduerftigen Eltern/alleinerziehenden Muettern/... in El Alto bereitgestellt wird. Aufgrund einer gesetzlichen Aenderung in Bolivien macht das Projekt leider schwierige Zeiten durch. Neben dem Besuch der Betreuungsstation in El Alto und einer Spritztour mit dem Bus, welcher durch Mittel des Vereins "Inti fuer Strassenkinder" unterstuetzt wurde, sta... read more

South America » Peru » Arequipa » Arequipa August 29th 2013

Arrivée dans la ville blanche, sous un ciel bleu, nous permettant de profiter du panorama: des montagnes enneigées se dressent tout autour de la ville. Installés à l'auberge, petite pause au soleil sur la terrasse. Yann s'endort, son ventre s'en souviendra. Le midi, nous allons déjeuner dans une boulangerie dans laquelle nous trouvons de la baguette. Après 2 mois sans vrai pain, ça fait plaisir! Nous faisons ensuite le tour des agences pour réserver le trek de Colca, que nous ferons en 3 jours. 2 mois de voyage, ça se fête; c'est donc dans un petit bar que nous débutons la soirée à l'aide de grands shots de Tequila pour ensuite la poursuivre en boîte. Le lendemain, en sortant de l'auberge, nous tombons sur le défilé de la police nationale qui fête son anniversaire. Tous les ... read more
Sur la terrasse
Arequipa
Début du défilé

South America » Peru » Arequipa » Arequipa August 22nd 2013

So after a 12 hour night bus from Ica we arrived in Arequipa. We travelled VIP with Cruz del sur, and this made the journey very easy. The seats were big leather recliners, with a telly each and steward. Would defiantly recommend. We checked into our accommodation a Casa called Casa de Avila. It was nice all the rooms are round a central garden that has a pet turtle. We chilled out as the night bus had been long. We then explored the town getting some food. Exploring the food market which was interesting, and seeing all the old buildings. Day two was spent relaxing and shopping for winter woollies for our trek which is fast approaching. Day three we awoke early and were collected by our tour guide Olivia, along with 3 other people we ... read more
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South America » Peru » Arequipa » Arequipa August 14th 2013

14 Aug Day 2: City of Arequipa Things were decidedly cool at the breakfast table this morning between Pen and Koala. We went to catch the bus for our four hour tour and found the square blocked off. Three got through the barriers and two didn't. More of that later. The square was blocked off for practice for tomorrow's celebrations for Arequipa Day (foundation day in 1541 - about 472 years). Well we think it was practice. The reason we are in doubt is because the Present of Peru turned up today (Don managed to get a photo) but unfortunately not while I was there because Liz, Garry and I literally had front row seats. Did I mention that the practice was by the Military - Army, Navy and Airforce. The uniforms here are quite spectacular. ... read more
One of the Peaks of Chachani
One example of the uniforms
Airforce and Navy together




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