February 15th, 2008 – by: sissanoel
Noel and Melissa at the highest pass back to Arequipa, at 4910 metres.
After a pretty good brekky, we left Coporaque at 7am to head back to Arequipa
. Went pretty direct this time, because we did all the stops on the way over. We did stop at the highest part of the mountain road, at 4,910 metres - the air is definitely thinner here! A couple of people on our trip are really starting to suffer from the alititude today, poor HJ had the classic "drunken" symptoms, feeling queasy and couldn´t keep her balance. Luckily we haven´t been too bad. Got back to Arequipa at about 11am so had a day to fill in. We walked to the nearby Museo Arte Villeinar de Santa Teresa, which is situated within a working convent. You pay to go in , and then you have to tip the compulsory guide as well.
Courtyard of the Museo Arte Villeinar de Santa Teresa
Peru is not working out to be as cheap as we thought it would be! There are lots of interesting works of art here, though. Lots of Cuzco school religious paintings, the usual gold, silver and precious stones and some wonderful original frescoes on the wall of some of the main rooms. Also a good explanation of how the artists made many of the statues and paintings - many of the statues have cactus as their main support inside, which is then covered with plaster and painted. Afterwards, we walked back down through the artisan stalls at the San Fransisco Church and then back to the Plaza de Armas. Had lunch at a local workers´cafe (in and out in under an hour!). Called Melissa´s parents today as it´s there 40th wedding anniversary - glad to hear all is still well in Australia! The girls night out for tonight was cancelled because of the ones suffering what appears to be altitude sickness, we´ll try again later. WE instead went to a nearby vegetarian restaurant, which was a nice change. Food was great, and even had the Hari Krishnas dancing down the street with their gongs and drums ´most enjoyable!