Arequipa and the Monasterio de Santa Catalina

We arrived back in Arequipa from Colca Canyon mid afternoon. Quickly jumping in a taxi Alice had reserved a bed for me in the hostel and I was lucky to get a dorm to myself after a bed malfunction. After grabbing my bag out of the storage, showering and repacking everything again I joined Sam and Alice on the roof of the hostel for a spectacular sunset.

I had been craving a burger but the option of Indian was put on the table and as I’ve only had one since I left Europe I jumped at the chance and I’m glad I did. We went to a restaurant called India, Indian Cuisine. It’s run by an Indian chef and is one of the most delicious meals I’ve ever had. I have to hand it to Sam and Alice as they are amazing at picking restaurants. The naan itself was huge.

We retreated for and early night and I jumped into Netflix before going to bed at the late time of 10pm. The next day I woke early and based on Alice’s advice headed to La Despensa, a bakery near the monastery, which serves delicious coffee.

I then headed across the road to the Monasterio de Santa Catalina. It’s 40 soles to enter and well worth the price. Alice had recommended going early and getting the guided tour. I didn’t get the tour as they wanted 20 soles as I wouldn’t be part of a group which I thought would get in the way of my photography. The other reason to go early is that if you want to take photos without people wondering in then it’s the best time. I found it difficult and I arrived around 9am.

I took a lot of photos here as it’s one of the most colourful and beautiful buildings I’ve ever seen. I’ve only really split them up so you are not scrolling through 100 photos.

And of course I know nothing about the history as I didn’t take a tour. But they do have pretty flowers.

And pots and lots of other stuff.

There is also a fountain and I managed to get these rather cool pics of a bird flying around it.

And then there was more. This place is really huge and actually has some streets within the complex. I was actually here on a Sunday morning so the place was filled with the sounds and singing of mass.

I had finished at the monastery by around 10:30 so decided to head to two miradora that were in the guidebook. The guy at the hostel tries to convince me to take a taxi but they are both easily accessible by foot.

The first, Mirador de Yanahuara, is set in a beautiful, but busy with tourists, plaza. It’s worth going to have a look around and there are a few museums and restaurants and cafes close by. The second, Mirador del Alto Carmen, is a little further out of the city, and you really do feel like you are leaving the city as you walk there. I was annoyed that it cost me 3 soles to get in and whilst I was looking at the mountains and volcano that surround the city a tour group decided to surround me which ruined the tranquility of the place. There are a few stores selling food and some zip lining of that takes your fancy but I’d recommend slipping this one as the mountains are so big you can see them from across the city and this doesn’t really provide a better view.

I headed back to the city where is arranged to meet Sam and Alice in the main market. It was good to walk though the city as I’d not get had the opportunity to see much and the centre including the main plaza is beautiful. While Sam purchased a hat I had a wonder and after seeing several textile stores I decided it was about time I brought a needle and thread before I was left needing one again.

Afterwards I treated myself to ice cream and started catching up on this blog.

Before catching the night bus to Nazca we treated ourselves to a burger at another recommended location. Food is good in Arequipa. I decided to go for a double chicken and beef burger which was a little stupid when you see the size of it. But it’s something that’s been on my mind since I saw it in Sucre and now I’ve tried it I won’t do that again. Afterwards we took a short walk and caught the taxi to the night bus.

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