Sunday, April 1, 2012
Waking up in an old mansion has its perks. The restaurant is on the top floor as we are getting used to in this strange country. The benefits are the views from the restaurants. Simply amazing! We even can see an active volcano (Volcan Misti) from our table! We are at altitude and we are shown something called, “Coca Leaves”, which are a narcotic and probably a controlled substance in our home country. But Altitude Sickness is a real thing and we need to adjust to it. Arequipa is at 7660 feet which is not much more than our local Big Bear in SoCal. But breathing has become a bit labored. So it is suggested that we chew Coca Leaves. This is rather disgusting. But it is also suggested that we drink, “Coca Tea”, which is much more pleasing. So I start a regimen of two cups of Coca Tea each morning from here on. It seems to work nicely!
We are picked up by a taxi driver who sends word to the hotel and the restaurant gets the message and we go down and meet the driver/guide for the day! She takes us to some scenic overlooks and a small market where we abstain from spending money. But we pose with a fun statue and have fun. Our cameras are entertained also!
She takes us to a city center, the name of which eludes me after 9 years. But there is a church to check out and a plaza to photograph. And here I find a subject that those of you who know me, know I always look for. A pair of Lovers. I find them here and they happily pose for me! We see another ice cream vendor that looks so intriguing but we refrain due to the nature of unpasteurized milk here. We find Easter Flower Vendors preparing for the upcoming holiday and another “Inri”, or a “Crucifix” designed for workers that denote the tools they use for different locations. You have already seen several “Inri’s” on previous posts and will see more as we move forward!
So I get only a few shots inside the church before I’m chastised and told to put the camera away. I was apparently too obvious and a church worker follows me for the rest of the tour. LOL. So we finish up and I get more shots outside of another ice cream vendor and other sights outside!
Now our guide takes us to a local monastery that is still an active monastery and has nuns and priests living there. The place is quite the camera eye candy and my cameras are having a ball! Our private guide takes us through and shows us the place, complete with old kitchens and laundry area which is quite intriguing to see! A system of cut bowls that go downhill and the laundry goes from one vessel to another to get clean!
Next we go to a local restaurant for a fun local meal of Alpaca, Vicuna and Beef! We find out that Alpaca is healthier than Beef AND is delicious! “Alpandina Gastronomia” Restaurant is quite the interesting place as it overlooks the local square!
Later in the evening, I am tempted and do some more night photos, which I love to do!
Good night and see you tomorrow!