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Arequipa! Arequipa!

Tuesday 13th August

sunny 28 °C

We arrived in Arequipa shortly after 7 am having just spent 9 and a half hours on the night bus. Despite sitting in front of the toilets, the journey was not as bad as we'd imagined as fortunately the toilets are 'suspended' during night trips, only being allowed for emergencies. (Although why you would want to use a stinky bus toilet for any other reason than absolute desperation is beyond me.) This obviously did not stop two women trying at 3.30 and insisting on having a loud conversation about how long they'd been waiting.

We caught a taxi to our hostel, which is colonial built out of stone, which basically means freezing cold on a boiling hot day to you and me. We have a temperamental electric shock shower again which went freezing cold after a minute of boiling hot when I used it, but obviously worked fine for Chris.

We headed to the Plaza de Armas, where there was a parade passing through to celebrate Arequipa day. According to our taxi driver, the fiesta is tomorrow, although there was quite a large parade there this evening as well so we will have to just wait and see tomorrow. The first parade had a really good marching band, mostly made up of 12 year old boys, who played their instruments very well, in time with each other; however at times looked like a disorganised rabble when it came to moving together.

We visited the Santa Catalina monastery, which was absolutely massive and took a good 2 hours to go around. The monastery was almost like a mini town with three 'main' roads running through the middle connecting the various different parts. There was some really interesting architecture (pics to follow on Facebook soon...) And various different styles had been used to create the buildings surrounding the numerous little squares within the monastery.

In places the monastery did seem a little repetitive, especially once you had seen the hundredth nun's room and kitchen.

Afterwards we headed back to the Plaza de Armas and visited another small church before watching the second parade, which included men and women in traditional Peruvian dress dancing in the street, throwing out vegetables to the crowd which was a bit odd.

Tomorrow we plan to explore Arequipa a little more and venture out into the suburbs.

Posted by Roaming Rolts 19:13 Archived in Peru

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You guys...the more I read, the more jealous I get! The parade sounds so much fun! Hope it is the Fiesta today and you're having a great time xx

by Tanya

You are certainly having a variety of experiences. I really loved the sand dune pics.
Currently sitting in the lounge at Stansted, awaiting my bacon roll, before catching the plane to Poitiers.
Keep safe.
Lots of love. X

by Marion

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