Sunday, October 14, 2007

Arequipa - 14th/15th October 2007

I arrived in Arequipa at 7.30 in the morning with no accomodation sorted cause of the busy day yesterday! By 11.30 (!) I found somewhere, the Bothy Hostel. Its a great little hostel with very comfortable beds and hot showers (but only around the time I arrived as they were solar, I was to find that out the next morning!)

After dumping my gear I headed off to the main plaza which was absolutely heaving with families out for their Sunday afternoon, feeding the pigeons (just like Trafalgar square, but smaller!).

Its a lovely Plaza though so I just hung out for a while soaking up the atmosphere and trying to stay awake!

Arequipa is a really beautiful city with loads to see and do, its also the starting point for trekking the Colca Canyon and the pictures Ive seen look amazing but after yesterday Im feeling a little sore so need a little presuasion, I feel!

Back at the hostal I met with Linda and Lobka from Holland, which as we all know is very flat with no mountains and they had done the trek, so by the end of a shared dinner with them I was convinced I could do this trek also!
The following morning the three of us met with Sophia and Jordan both from America and set off for the local market to soak up the atmosphere of dead cows and sheep heads being offered for sale! A fun experience though.

Next stop was Juanita, the Ice Princess.
The Ice Princess is the frozen body of an Inca maiden sacrificed on the summit of Nevado Ampato over 500 years ago. Over the years there have been discoveries of several mummies of children that have been found in the area that were human sacrifices also but Juanita is different in that she is just frozen with all her internal organs intact, the others had their internal organs removed and offerings placed there instead. It was a very interesting museum, well worth a visit and done in a nongoulish way.

In the afternoon three of us decided on an open top bus tour around Arequipa to see the sights, it lasted 4 hours!! Quite a long bus trip but very interesting and we did get to see fantastic views of the perfect cone shaped volcano El Misti and the more ragged Chachani and Pichu Pichu, perfect for me!

Back at the hostal I booked in for the Colca Canyon trip the next day!

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