Arequipa is a keeper (darren's choice, obviously right??)
Mt. Misti, from the rooftop of Colonial House Inn
Darren has been taken with the mountains, colonial architecture, the many churches, the massive wooden doors embedded in high skilled walls flanking the streets, the rooftop patio and resident cat ("Richard", below right) at our guesthouse.
Rooftop patio at Colonial House
Arequipa is beautiful, all cobblestoney and shadowed by three huge mountains. The abundance of clear blue skies was a welcome change from grey Lima too. The forecast has said it was only 20 or so degrees but it felt much more. We attribute that to to the high altitude (2,400 metres) and a lack of ozone. It is a dry climate which has meant tragedy for my hair. The slapdash home job razor cut perfect for humid climes is a limp, frizzy mess. Trivial this may sound but my hair is my greatest vanity. A ponytail will suffice for the next week and a half, after which it's into the tropics baby and curls will once again reign supreme.
Courtyard in Santa Catalina Monasterio
Back to Arequipa. In our 4 days here we've been taking her easy to get acclimatised to the altitude. We done a lot of napping and strolling around the city centre (basically a 6 block radius). We hit up one historical site, the Santa Catalina monastery. It housed around 300 nuns back in it's hey day 300 years ago and no outsiders had ever seen inside until 1970. We spent a couple hours looking through the various cells and courtyards and halls. Sometimes I think the nun's life is for me because I can appreciate solitude, silence and devotion to embroidery. Of course not the catholic kind. I couldn't abide sleep dep, sitting in uncomfortable positions, and the wearing of barbed wire under garments. I don't care about absolving other people's sins enough for that.
Atop Santa Catalina Monasterio
We have decided we are not going to eat guinea pig. The main reason because they're just too darn cute (I know, I know, so are cows, sheep etc - when I'm back in NZ where baby animals frolic in the fields in full view of the road on the way to and from Mum and Dads place, I will probably take up the vegetarian mantle again. Yes, I am THAT kind of vegetarian).