Puerta Inka and Arequipa

It was a beautiful drive along the coast to Peurta Inka, we had lunch on arrival prepared by our cook group, Karen & I plus Tony and Neil. We chilled after lunch reading whilst watching Heather & Anthony out in kayaks, the local fishermen setting up their nets and the boobies diving just off shore. Seemed like hard work a good hour and a half for a fairly meagre, at least to my eyes, 30 or so sardine sized fish.

Later in the afternoon we walked along the cliffs for an hour meeting up with Tony and Geoff who were running about like school kids and the much more sensible Colin and Jane. Back to camp to help with the dinner, sausage casserole, whilst singing along to music from Karen’s ipod – all golden oldies- which went down well especially with the older members of the group.

As we had set up our tent close to and facing the sea we once again had a fantastic view of the surf, a fitting finale as this was our last beach camp this trip. Karen and I camping was to the amazement of the bag team as they did not bother to unload our camping gear automatically assuming we would upgrade …………

Beach Front Location

Arequipa. We had an early departure, 7.30am, and a beautiful drive along the coast to Arequipa, finally leaving the sea views moving inland to desert and volcanoes – both spectacular.

A timely arrival at our hotel El Peral, meant we could pop out for a drink and a look around the main square, Plaza del Armas and admire some of the beautiful colonial buildings around the square and immediate surroundings. We had dinner at a restaurant off the square and a pleasant evening with Terry & Lesley and Jane & Colin. Karen tried the Alpaca which she found delicious, moist & tender. I went for the fish which was equally delicious.

Next day we took a tour of one of the major attractions the “Monasterio Santa Catalina” although a monastery actually contains a Nunnery. It is called a a “city within a city” as it is completely self contained over some 80 hectares. It has stunning architecture and was a fascinating insight to a very different lifestyle.

Thirty young Nuns still live there and lead a life very similar to their predecessors of the last 500 years with some subtle differences; they have mobile phones and are no longer allowed servants. As it used to be that daughters of rich families – typically 2nd daughters not required to marry well as that was the first daughter’s responsibility – could “employ” poorer nuns as house maids and general servants.  Entry was open to everyone, hence the poor nuns, but they could never ascend to high office in the order such as Mother Superior.

The families of the richer nuns made generous donations to the church and their daughters to ensure their place and good favour with the church. Donations included ornate tile work, tea sets and religious artwork from Spain. Our evening was complete with a delayed “birthday celebration” meal with Tony and Geoff. Geoff sprung for a bottle of wine at the pre-dinner bar which was absolutely delicious – Cheers Geoff- followed by another in the great restaurant down the road “grande steaks” for the boys and Andean Pork for Karen. It was a superb night all round. Thanks Guys.

Typical Family Gift

Long Truck day to come heading to Cusco and Machu Picchu.

 

More Photos Here.

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