Published: November 30th 2011November 22nd 2011
"Not so tough now”
So after the “feeling sorry for I stint” passed, I made it to the extremely gorgeous, exceptionally irritating city of Arequipa. The second largest city in Peru and it has something of everything. From legend, to myth, to archaeological history to beautiful buildings, to about 5million hooting taxi’s
Yeh, you guessed it, the altitude floored me! Waking up on Tuesday night from a screaming headache, buzzing in my ears and heartbeat of 180 from walking 5metres to the bathroom, I had no clue what the heck was going on. Arequipa is 2,800m above sea level, but because I’m so ignorant, I don’t really believe in these things, my attitude is one of “bou ‘n brug”, “walkt it off” and “toughen up”, but it took about 3 days to pass and it made me realize what a big wimp I am!
First I can’t handle a bit of cold in the South of Argentina, then the extremities gets to my immune system and I end up with a visit to a hospital, now I’m crying about a little bit of altitude. Yeh, I learn certain
things on this trip, I always thought I was pretty tough, you know “for a chick and all” turns out Not. King Carlos = Arequipa
Firstly, I hate museums. Secondly, I have the attention span of a 3-year old. So I never go, because from the second I walk in there, all I can think about is leaving, but I actually went and I actually learnt some very interesting history facts.
The Inca tribe, which when the guide told us “only” ruled for a 100 years, was on the tip of my tongue to tell her, “oh, almost as long as Robert and Gadhafi”, but I’m probably the only one that thinks that’s funny.Point being, for a ruling that only lasted 100-years they had a very significant impact. They shaped much of the future of South America and most of the history (and a big part of the tourism) is thanks to their influence.
The Inca’s believed the mountains and volcanoes to be the gods. Whenever the volcanoes erupted or any natural disasters struck,
they believed that the gods are angry and disappointed at or with them. Thus, they had to make a human sacrifice. This sacrifice was in the form of a very young child, as young as 6. The most famous child being “Juanita, the Ice princess”, she was named Juanita after the archaeologists (Johan) that found her.
Her story goes; she was of royal decent and always knew her fate to be one of sacrifice, both for the gods and her people. Apparently it was a very big privilege. She had to walk from the Inca capital of Cuzco (about 550km) from Misti Mountain where she would be sacrificed. Now, keep in mind this volcano is over 6,000m high, she’s only 12-years old it’s freezing cold, this is the 1500’s. There is no gear, no equipment; the water bottle is a massive cask of 8kg empty! Basic blankets, shoes made from lemongrass and leather, this is basic stuff. “The North Face” was still in the very distant future.
She was eventually sacrificed by a blow to the head and was extremely well preserved because of the -20 degree weather in which she then lay
for the next 400-500 odd years, until she was discovered in 1995.
They have found 17 child sacrifices across Peru, Chile and Argentina so far. With the most being in Peru, it seems the Andes have their own mysterious stories to tell…..
Arequipa is definitely one of the most beautiful cities I have ever seen. Mysterious volcanoes sneaking a look at you from behind the gorgeous cathedral, every building is built with old white volcanic rock, the main plaza is really the centre of the city, fitted out with the stereotypical doves and benches! But the taxi drivers are a nightmare! There is not 2 seconds that pass without someone honking! It drove me insane!
You all know I have a thing for King Carlos, but I always say I don’t want to hear him speak, because I will be disappointed, that is the best way to explain the gorgeously, irritating city. Look at it, but don’t listen. (you will, however sit through the meal just to look at the scenery, if you catch my drift…<span style="font-family: Wingdings; mso-ascii-font-family: Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family: Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-char-type: symbol; mso-symbol-font-family:
From Arequipa I decided next up will be surf camp! I always wanted to learn and where better than in a place where the water sixteen degrees!For a kid that was never cool enough to make the back of the bus, I also now know what goofy, point break and long boards mean! I can also now use the phrase ‘bru’ with some streetcred Bru! I stayed in this surfer house with surfing stickers, quad bikes, surf boards and wetsuits everywhere. I also don’t think that I saw the owner sober or not high once in the five days I was there. Neither was the 20 Brazilians that stayed there, I have never smelt weed at breakfast, lunch and dinner! Now that box is also ticked.
There are more photos below