Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Peru, Chapter 6 - Arequipa!

 Well, this is the very last chapter of the chronicles of our Peru trip - Arequipa! We really saved a beautiful city for last.

Our one and only day in Arequipa began with another TripAdvisor recommendation - Santa Catalina Convent. It is the most tranquil, beautiful place - surrounded by the busy hustle of the city on every side. The monastery was built in 1580, and nuns still live in a corner of the complex closed to the public. The majority of the complex is open to explore at your own pace. The walls of the convent are so thick and aged, it seems they've mastered the art of silencing the world around them. In some places it was so peaceful, I almost felt like I could hear the sunlight warming the walls.

The convent is designed like a city, with various avenues connecting areas of different functions. All throughout are chapels, courtyards with fruit trees, fountains, and dozens upon dozens of geraniums.

{The boldly painted walls were my favorite part.}

Of course, we couldn't leave without a strong cup of tea and some carrot cake, which tasted just as delicious as it looks. 

Next began our search for more blankets, just like the one I bought in Miraflores. We spent the rest of the afternoon checking every market and shop, thinking we'd stumble upon them, but we were quite wrong. Still, we happened upon a totally fascinating food market that sold these little guys: 

Dried Fetal Llamas. Yes, that's right. 

Apparently they are used in traditional sacrifice to the Inca gods. We particularly liked tiny little hats, which made them just that much more creepy. 

This market sold all kinds of things other than dried fetal llamas (!). It was split into all of the expected grocery store sections - fruits, vegetables, meats, dairy, breads, medicinal, etc. Upstairs were fabric vendors and sellers with stalls full of batteries and chintzy things like cell phone covers and plastic jewelry. Other than the llamas, the most interesting thing we saw was a freshly decapitated sheep's head. Hair, eyes, and teeth still intact. Luckily for you, I was too shocked to document that! 

 {I have absolutely no idea what these buns with clay characters in them are all about. Anyone know?}
{This purple corn is used to make candy that you can find all over the place. Chicha is made of it as well. }

After lots more shopping at various craft vendors, we decided to have lunch. We chose this restaurant, which you can just barely see at the top left corner of the photo above. It has four levels, and we ate on the roof. Just across from our table was a gorgeous mountain view. 

{Cusqueña and Jugo Mixto with a pizza on its way - this is the life}
Just after lunch, we began the walk back to our hotel before we needed to head to the airport to go back to Lima. I was so in love with the Jacaranda trees, just blooming. It reminds me of Johannesburg, my hometown. 
{This photo is so funny to me. Little spiderman had just thrown a fit and received a serious swat on the bum for it. I thought the whole scene was hilarious! You go Mom.}

Arequipa is another city I had a hard time saying goodbye to. We hardly scratched the surface of what it had to offer, and loved it. Before we knew it, we were on our way home, and our Peruvian adventure had come to a close. Amazing how something you anticipate for so long can arrive so slowly, and pass so quickly.

What an amazing journey it was. 
And next time, Arequipa - we'll be back for you. 




  1. Wow! Awesome pictures, Caitlin! Wish we had gone to Arequipa too....

  2. Thanks, friends! Miss you guys.

  3. Hi Caitlin,

    I just discoved your wonderful blog and gorgeous Etsy Shop!
    I am quite interested to know the name of that roof top restaurant in Arequipa?

    Thanks in advance!



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