We made it...
Arequipa Travel Blog› entry 14 of 23 › view all entries
All the warnings about robbery and armed holdups seem ill founded.... so there is no need to claim on the guarantee of the Hotel!
Seems that our local travel guide (from Lima) turned out to be quite a find and well worth the money! We´ll post her details later as others may wish to use her, with our recommendation.
We have called into the trek companies office and everything is comfirmed for the Colca Canyon tour... we are both very much looking forward to this. It is an early start tomorrow and a late return on the 16th so we will update you then... and maybe some more photos if and when we get time.
p.s. we tried to upload pic of the bus, but the machine here is kinda old and unable to read the DVD with the pics! But for info the bus was warm, dry, safe (bus company - Cruz del Sol) .
So, on arrival in Arequpia we grabbed a taxi at the bus station and transfered to our Hostal, La Gruta. A beautiful place, quiet and off the main tourist area. Very helpful staff and well kept rooms, secure with security gates and guard at street entrance. A quick refresh and we headed down to ... you´ll never guess... Plaza de Armas, which we have figured out means - main square, every town has one and it is a great place to start exploration of the city and gain bearings.
After more great Peruvian food we visited the Museo Santury. A fascinating collection of Inca artifacts collected by archaeologists. They found wooden remnants suggesting a burial site during an eruption of Mount Nevado Ampato. A lot of snow and ice was melted during the eruption and allowed access to the mountain and burial tomb. What they found was a perfectly preserved body of a sacrifical offering to the mountain gods of a 14 year old girl, who they named ´Juanita´. She has been studies significantly and now rests in a glass fridge in the museum for tourists to view and understand more about the story and Inca culture.
It was cold and slightly disturbing, we wondered if it would have been more ´right´for her to be left on the mountain, or returned to the mountain, where she was sacrificed. There was initially a movie which explained the theories of the archaeologists who believe that she was ´groomed´for such a fate. She was of royal blood and had the very best lifestyle - clothes, food, treatment - always knowing that she was the chosen one. It seemed somehow wrong that she is now in a glass fridge.
Next we headed for a traditional lunch, the main meal in Peru and a grand affair. We selected an upbeat place, with a live band - Sol de Mayo. Amazing food and truly incredible waiters that ran everywhere while the band played and we ate and drank beer in the sun. On holiday! After lunch we found the mirador (lookout) at Yanahuara, close the restaurant and appreciated the vista of Arequipa.
The rest of the day was spent exploring... if only we could find a taxi!!! (a clue ... check out photos below)