Monday, February 25, 2013

In Peru, Doing Peru Things

I am in Peru. Arequipa, to be specific. It is awesome. Lauren and I landed in Lima a couple weeks ago. We spent that time in Lima, while Lauren did her volunteer work at a couple different hospitals in the city. Lima is a huge city, just enormous. We stayed in the Miraflores district, which is really nice and high end. Apparently there are a lot of unsafe places to go in Lima, so we mostly stuck it out in our little neck of the woods. I'll write more on Lima later, as I learned some interesting little things, but I'd like to show you some of Arequipa, as we like it much better. 

As soon as we landed and got off the plane we liked this place. The cool high desert/mountain air was just what we wanted after two weeks of muggy ocean air in Lima. This town is an interesting mix of desert and mountain. There are huge 20kish peaks surrounding it, but here in town there are palm trees and cactus. Arequipa sits at a nice 7600 feet, good for some mountain training.

Chachani. It's huge. Just under 20K
We are here during the rainy season/summer, so the climbing of peaks is not recommended. The days seem to start out sunny, but the mountains sock in quickly in the afternoon. Some of our housemates, however, took a van almost to the summit (!!) and mountain biked almost back to town. So I guess there are possibilities. The snow you see on the summit is not year round anymore. Sadly, all the glaciers have disappeared and for some portions of the year it's snow free. Another victim of global climate change and warming.

We are staying in a nice home we found on It's fantastic. I fully recommend the website. Its a nice room, shared bath and kitchen. Clean, a little austere, but perfectly comfortable with a rooftop terrace. A prefect way to relax and enjoy a glass of wine in the evening.

Our quaint little terrace.

We spent our first day traipsing around town and quickly found La Plaza de Armas. It happened to be during some kind of parade/demonstrations. We sat and drank coffee and listened to the shouting masses. Enchanting.


The next photos are kind of random throughout the day as we explored a bit.

Yes, those are riot police. Police and security guards are ubiquitous in Peru.

The Spanish/Catholic cathedrals are incredible.

Amazing pipe organ.


Looking down on the square from our dinner perch.

This is looking up at Chachani

Sunset is always nice.

Arequipa is the country's second largest city and only a tenth of the size of Lima. It feels waaaay more laid back. We love it. I'm sure I'll have a lot of pictures later, but this is a start. Cheers!