From Lima, Alex and I headed to Arequipa. We had considered taking the bus, but then when we found out it would be like a 26 hour ride or something horrendous, we looked into plane tickets. The newly launched Peruvian Airlines had a special and ended up being pretty affordable, and on this trip we were willing to pay a bit more for a 40 minute flight over a 20 hour bus ride.
Arequipa was a really nice town, it had a more colonial feel and was certainly a bit more geared to tourists then Lima was. We spent our time here just taking it easy, enjoying a meal on the beautiful Plaza de Armas, and investing in some alpaca sweaters. We had come to find out we didn't really pack appropriately for the season and nights were getting VERY chilly. The sweaters came in very handy, especially in the next town of Puno.
Catedral in the Plaza de Armas.
Arequipa was our first stop into the mountains and just starting to hit some altitude. We also broke out of the Lima grey and had some actual sunshine!
The first day we hiked out of the center of town, (seriously, we hiked everyday for the next two weeks!), and up to what was supposed to be a pretty lookout. However, when we arrived, it was sadly under construction. Lame. It still had some nice views, however, lots of them were interrupted with silly dump trucks.
We decided that this was too cute of a street not to wander down, and were happily surprised to come upon a great little outdoor cafe were we could stop for an afternoon snack and a pitcher of lemonade.
Walking down into the cafe garden.
Not a bad view with lunch!
Later that day we spent a couple hours exploring the monastery in town. It's huge and is almost like it's own little enclosed city. Alex and I split up while walking around, and he found some great stuff that I didn't see, but again, the small camera was still on the wrong setting. :-(. So some of these files are too small, but I still really like a number of the shots he got! These are few from both of us.
After the monastery, we mainly just did a lot of relaxing, a little shopping and wandering around. The one strange thing that happened was on our second night there, I was sleeping and Alex was up reading. Suddenly, I was woken up by what I thought was a huge truck rumbling by outside our hostel, however, Alex swears it was a brief earthquake! I'm still not sure, but I will say we never saw any trucks big enough on the little street we were on to rumble the hotel... We never did find out, but still a little extra added excitement!