Arequipa Cont.

On our last day in Arequipa we crossed the river and walked about a mile from our hotel to the Yanahuara Arches. It was a mostly up hill walk and we had a great view of the entire city and there was a lovely park. Up until this point, we had mostly stayed in the downtown area. The arches and view were well worth the walk.

We also visited the Museuo Sanctuaries Andinos where the frozen maiden Juanita is located. Juanita is the mummy found in Peru, not far from Arequipa. She was an Inca sacrifice from about 500 years ago. We were not allowed to take photos and had to leave all electronics in lockers. The tour starts with a short 20min. movie which is interesting and informative. There is a small four room museum that contains all of the gold and silver figurines, woven blankets, clothing, and pots found in the sacrificial graves. In the last room is the mummy, still frozen, she is heartbreakingly small and tiny. She was at most 12 years old.

We finished the evening at a restaurant called Zig Zag. The food is served on a volcanic rock and it sputters and spatters while it continues to cook right at the table. We would highly recommend this restaurant. The power went out while we were there and the staff just lit more candles and continued on without hesitation. Unfortunately we don’t have photos of the amazing food, because it was served in the dark. It was fun and highly memorable. The photo is of the bib they provide, since the meat is still cooking.

Some reflections on travel in a foreign country.

Travel can be exhausting, mostly in a good way. The brain is always on high alert everything is new and different, all of the senses are on overload. Being continually aware of your surroundings for security and for sure footedness is mandatory. Unfortunately it is so easy to slip into what is comfortable.

Our first day in the hotel in Arequipa, I tripped going up a flight of stairs. My brain felt like cotton candy from the altitude, and I wrongly assumed that stairs were stairs no matter the country or city. I was very wrong. I have a large green and purple welt on my hand to remind me of this fact. Matt has a large welt on his forehead from the overhang on the same flight of stairs. Remaining aware of ones surroundings is imperative when traveling, even if it takes a little more energy.

We have also noticed a markedly different cultural norm here, that is not present in the U.S.. People in Peru have no problem picking their nose in public. Initially Matt and I were both very much for it. So much freedom! Yeah, you go, get that crusty boogie! Especially since the air is so dry and dusty. Then when we were eating lunch yesterday, I saw our chef do it. Then he did it again, and he was going for the gold! I am maybe ok with this particular lack of freedom in the states.

All of our best,

Matt and Jill

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