Blogs from Arequipa, Arequipa, Peru, South America

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South America » Peru » Arequipa » Arequipa March 16th 2016

Spent the morning catching up on stuff and doing running repairs such as seeing the rip in Hat's yoga pants and a button back on one of my shirts. Then we packed up all our stuff and placed it in left luggage for collection before this evening's overnight bus back to Nazca. We strolled down to the main plaza, popping into trinket and souvenir shops along the way. Inevitably, some small pan pipes found their way into our day sack, along with a Peruvian costumed 'barbie' to replace the one Hat gave to the little girl in Uros. Initially it was named Bonita, but has subsequently become Jessica. I bought a hat as Ed's hat is really too small for my noggin. We hoofed across town to find a traditional Peruvian restaurant that had been recommended. ... read more
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South America » Peru » Arequipa » Arequipa March 15th 2016

One last dip in the hot spring pools and we were off again. Colca canyon was the last destination before we start to retrace our steps, which are well over 1000 bus miles to return back to Lima. We took another taxi this mornings, a 3 1/2 hour trip through the Salinas y Aguada Blanca, a vast expanse of strange shaped volcanoes, giant looking sandpits, herds of Llamas and Alpacas and bizarre rock formations perched almost unbelievably on top of sheer rock faces. Then, at the very top of the pass where you could see El Misti, the 19,000 ft volcano that overlooks our destination, Arequipar, there were hundreds of these little stone piles. Not conucal cairns as we know them, but single stone balanced upon single stone and so on. They looked like minature people ... read more
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South America » Peru » Arequipa » Arequipa March 9th 2016

There has been a big Hat swap around. Cas' cowboy hat has gone to Ed, Ed's baseball cap has come to me and Cas has bought a blue and cream hat. Hat already has a girly sombrero affair with lists of ribbon and material. The overnight bus journey has the most comfortable chairs of any bus we've been on. Poor Ed woke up in the night and didn't know where he was and was quite upset; it took a lot of hair striking to get him back off and then he slept very well. From a night street vendor in Nazca we bought some Churros (straight Spanish donuts) and some moon snapped pastries filled with Ducle Leche. What a brilliant breakfast as we looked out the bus windows and saw our first sunrise come up over ... read more
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South America » Peru » Arequipa » Arequipa March 9th 2016

Took a taxi to a recommended Peruvian restaurant and it was great; musicians playing pipes and those little guitars had us all jiving on our seats. Ed and Hat both tried new things and enjoyed their meals. The roccola (stuffed peppers) were excellent. On 20 mins walk back we bought a small tennis ball and in the gardens of the hotel we did a games lesson. This consisted of catch and then we did target practice to see who could get the ball into the mouth of these enormous pottery urns. So big in fact that both kids could climb inside. Hat and Ed were roaring with laughter and describe it as the best PE lesson ever. This morning we had our first 'Chinese parliament' to discuss any changes that each of us wanted to make ... read more
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South America » Peru » Arequipa » Arequipa January 7th 2016

After 4 nights of bus travel we finally reached Arequipa. Tired and exhausted this desert town was an oasis of white coloured buildings, churches, monastry´s and a truly spectacular central plaza. As we explored the cobbled streets we felt a growing sense of ease and familiarity. After days of constant onward travelling, finally being still in such a beautiful place felt like luxury. We made the culinary discovery of Tommy´s lifetime in the form of Queso Helado (cheese ice cream) topped with cinnamon. This of course isn´t Tasty chedder cheese, this is South American cheese which has a similar texture to Halloumi without the squeak and a taste more like a soft mozzarella crossed with riccotta or marscapone. After each day that followed Tommy sought out this delicious delicacy. For Tuppence the best discovery in Arequipa ... read more
Monasterio de la Recoleta Library
Spanish Inquisition tampers
Mountains surround Arequipa

South America » Peru » Arequipa » Arequipa December 18th 2015

Arequipa wasn't my the original plan but then again neither was Merian. Having originally met her in Buenos Aires and then randomly again in Colonia del Sacramento, we enjoyed each other's company so much that we decided to meet up again further down the road. Having been a couple of weeks behind me on the gringo trail, Arequipa ended up being the most convenient place for us to reunite before making some tracks up the coast. I also got word about Huacachina - a literal oasis in the sand dunes outside of Ica. This was also on the route up north, I have never been to an oasis before and having missed out on sandboarding down in S... read more
Colonial Arches
Orange Tree Cloister
Patio, Casa de Moral

South America » Peru » Arequipa » Arequipa November 16th 2015

We had Christmas with our son Simon in Canada...a road trip through Utah & Arizona during a polar vortex ending staying with Home & Away in Colorado...another road trip down the Blues Highway from Memphis BB King's Blues Club to New Orleans juke joints...schmoozing, bluesing & cruising the Caribbean with those darn Binkleys. It's time for our South American leg that we only added to meet Tara Cloud. Peru, Bolivia & Nthn Chile. Nil planning...dreaming of soaring with condors. Arrive in Arequipa...Tara there to meet us. Loaded up with her new camera and various gear we'd collected from Home & Away for her. "Did you get me a window seat on the flight to Cusco?" "No. They only let us book three together." "I'll change the seats," she says...jumping for joy when she has done so. ... read more
No soy enclavo
Searching for Enlightenment
Tara's new camera

South America » Peru » Arequipa » Arequipa November 14th 2015

I warn you now this is going to be a fairly long read as there has been a lot going on in our first week in Peru...! We touched down in Lima after a very long day (up in Chicago at 2:45am followed by a 3hr flight to Florida, 8hr wait in airport followed by 5hr flight to Lima) with a large part of it spent on planes that had less leg room than Ryanair. Vicks however did manage to make friends with a very cute baby called Emilio whose dad told us that he was on his way to see his Grandma for the first time. Given we got through customs at 11pm we thought the roads would be quiet and we would get to our hostel in a fairly leisurely fashion. Wrong! Turns out ... read more
Parque del Amor
We found Paddington in deepest, darkest Peru!
Changing of the Guards

South America » Peru » Arequipa » Arequipa November 2nd 2015

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 August 30th 2015

Our lead in to the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu was preceded by a bus hop through Peru, beginning in Lima and taking in the towns of Paracas, Huacachina (pronounced ‘wacacheena’), and Arequipa before finishing in Cusco. Because of pre-booked tours, we gave ourselves only 1 night in Lima, which, as we discovered after arriving, was definitely not long enough. Lima is the culinary capital of South America, so unfortunately we missed out on testing this out, however Renee was quite excited about our need to do a little bit of clothes shopping. We successfully located a large open mall type shopping centre, Renee was excited. But then, less than 24 hours later, we were running down a main road in Lima chasing our bus, before finally getting on it ready for our adventure. On our ... read more
The sign says it all...
the Shopping Mall
Pacifico Christo




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