Lynn & David travelling in South America travel blog

Lynn en route to Arequipa, Peru

En route to Arequipa, Peru

View of Misti Volcano from our hotel room in Arequipa, Peru

Inside Monastero de Santa Catalina, Arequipa, Peru

Lynn and David, Monastero de Santa Catalina, Arequipa, Peru

View from the roof, Monastero de Santa Catalina, Arequipa, Peru

Revolving shelf through which nuns could receive visitor gifts, Monastero de Santa...

"Window" through nuns could talk to visitors (double bars), Monastero de Santa...

Entry to Novices Courtyard, Monastero de Santa Catalina, Arequipa, Peru

Nun's Cell, Monastero de Santa Catalina, Arequipa, Peru

Calle Cordoba, 18th Century Street within Monastero de Santa Catalina, Arequipa, Peru

David in Monastero de Santa Catalina, Arequipa, Peru

The Main Cloister, Monastero de Santa Catalina, Arequipa, Peru


Sunday 15th June 2014

Puerto Inca to Arequipa, Peru

Left at 7:00am after an early breakfast. Today was a driving day and we travelled from our camp in Puerto Inca down the desert coast of Peru through dry dusty towns and spectacular roads close to the coast but high above it. We finally turned inland towards the mountains and arrived in Arequipa, set at around 2,300 metres above sea level with a perfect volcano overlooking the town. Arequipa was badly damaged in an earthquake in 2001 as were many places in this area. We have seen many places in Peru that have had earthquake damage of one kind or another. We are staying in a hotel tonight. We went out and had dinner in a restaurant near the main square (Plaza de Armas) then walked back to the hotel. To bed around 10:00pm. Weather was beautiful, warm and fine today, but cold in the evening.

Monday 16th June 2014

Arequipa, Peru

Because today wasn't a travelling day, we were able to wake up later. We had breakfast downstairs in the hotel then went out in the town. We first of all went to the Monastery of Santa Catalina, a town within a town, the largest monastery in South America, a place where nuns have lived in cloisters for over 4 centuries and the premier tourist attraction in Arequipa. We walked into every room, cell and along every street in the place. It is really mostly a museum now but there are still a number of nuns living there but not anywhere near the number that used to be there. It was a very beautiful and peaceful place, lovingly restored. This part of Peru suffers from earthquakes and Arequipa has been subject to many over the centuries. They have caused much damage to the buildings but the people seem to just fix them up again and move on. We had lunch with Kirstin from the group and then we went with her to see "Juanita", the Ice Maiden, a young Inca girl, (12 - 14yo), who had been taken up to the top of a nearby volcano and sacrificed to the mountain god and had lain there buried in the ice for about 600 years until an eruption on the volcano adjacent had melted the ice and had exposed her mummified body. The body now lies in the museum stored at -30C in a glass case. She still has skin, hair, all internal organs etc and is perfectly preserved. It is rather sad that she was not allowed to stay on top of the volcano in peace. We then went back to the hotel and because we were having an extremely early start tomorrow, we just had a snack and went to bed around 9:00pm.



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