A southern city, Arequipa is the second largest city in Peru.
It was founded in 1540 and has retained an historical heart constructed almost entirely of sillar (a porou, white volcanic stone), which gives the city it’s distinctive nickname “the white city.” Backdrop to the city, in full view, are three volcanic peaks with heights around 6,000 meters. It must be cold up there as they are partially snowcapped yet, Arequipa enjoys perfect weather most of the year round, having on average 300 days of sunshine, huge blue skies and low humidity. Global warming and ozone deterioration have had some impact because they used to be snowcapped all year-round; nowadays, only for three or four months of the year.
Notwithstanding, have you ever arrived somewhere and had a gut instinct that a place is somewhere you could spend a heap of time at, versus always being on the road?
Well, Arequipa did it for us. As we ventured down to the Plaza de Armas (city centre), the architecture and design of the fronts of all types of buildings were incredibly charming and gorgeous. Pressing the button on the camera was feverish. When we entered the centre itself, OMG, it was a canvas of aesthetic gracefulness.
People everywhere, just meandering around or sitting relaxed. Giant palms and trees in purple flowers. The fountain was spurting water; kids played around it’s edges. The odd tout was blending in but a whistle from the tourist police ushered them along so as not to hassle.
That’s been a great difference here in Peru, touts don’t aggressively get in your face like they do on other parts of the globe. There are beggars, generally the older generation and again, they don’t cause you any harm. You don’t see as many dogs roaming neither, perhaps further out might be a different scene.
The atmosphere was lovely; it felt right. Apart from a day trip to see the Condors, we secured accommodation so as to spend the remainder of our time in Peru, living and breathing Arequipa.
Some down time just relaxing where a daily walk using a different route each time, is as equally rewarding as sitting in a lounge chair beside a pool or beach. Claire has been able to still do her bookkeeping role servicing her customers whilst traveling. Technology has improved somewhat since she did the same across Canada and the hours spent on such hasn’t interrupted our adventure at all. In-fact, when you love what you do and do what you love, play-work-play can go hand in hand. Besides, as long as wifi is compatible (and it has been here), look at her office. She has pioneered mobile bookkeeping by doing it.
It has also been an opportunity to catch up on the blog posts and pics. A lot of content cut and pasted for which I sometimes think has been too much information overload. Only a couple more posts to do and then I too can swing into illustrating from the images captured.
Arequipa, put it on your bucket list to visit, should you venture in this direction.
For us, there is one more item on our list to tick off during our last days here. Or should I write menu.
That being to eat rodent. Or commonly called Cuy, or as we know it, guinea pig!
Photo and blog post pending …