Arequipa

 We had read that Peru busses were a bit hot and miss and that the misses were quite unpleasant so we decided to go with the highly recommended Cruz del Sur bus company.
It started off pretty fantastic, reclining seats, wide and TVs in the headrests. Unfortunately the busses hadn’t been recommended by anyone over the height of 5’10”. Because as wonderful as the facilities were we just didn’t fit in the seats. Couple that with the windy roads and we didn’t get much sleep and arrived a little worse for wear in Ariquipa.
Luckily we were let straight into our room at 7:30am which was a godsend and we soon found a nice breakfast and quickly realised that Ariquipa was actually quite a beautiful city. Reminiscent of Sucre. The central square was lined with fabulous buildings and a huge church. Off of the square there were loads of restaurants and shops.
I have written about places having “it” before and once again won’t be able to put my finger on it but there is something about the place which makes you feel happy and you can’t help but have a smile on your face when your walking around.
The number one sight we wanted to see was the Santa Catalina Monestry which was a little city within the main city of Arequipa where the nuns lived. It was actually really quite interesting walking around and we both felt very impressed. It was quite clear that it was a great place for some reflective thought.
Sarah was still getting over her sickness so we took the rest of the day fairly easy apart from sorting out a trip to the Colca Canyon which there were hundreds of shops selling tours to but it seemed as though all they were selling was a bus trip and often for a lot of money. So we decided to catch the local bus ourselves and work it out.
We did finish the day with an interesting meal at a local potato specialist! It was actually really good. The meal consisted of a base of sliced potatoes (local Andean) of about 6 varieties. You then got to choose your toppings. It was all very delicious.  
Craft bee seems to have arrived in Peru too! There were plenty of bars offering local beers and indeed we got a couple of beers at the potato place too.  
Plus it was nice to drop back to 2300m above sea level, it’s funny that that’s not considered to be altitude anymore. T  
The main square at Arequipa

    
One of the many churches we came across in the city

 
The Santa Catalina monestary 

   
The walls of the monestary

 
One of the roads in the monestary with all the nuns quarters coming off of it.  The colours were all quite fantastic.

   
All of the nun’s quarters had these fantastic kitchens in them

 
Blues and deep Reds were the main colours used.  It all made it very relaxing

   
Where the laundry was done

 
The view over the top of the monestary and the rest of Arequipa 

   
The central market

 
So this is where the potato man went shopping.

  
We have talked a lot about catching buses and this is a typical bus station, with all the bus companies lining the sides trying to get your business.  Some more ethical than others.

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