Monday, September 07, 2009

Lima and Arequipa, Peru

By far the best expierence I had in Lima was visiting the Monasterio de San Francisco. We weren´t allowed to take photos inside but I snuck a few in here and there. Mostly they didn´t turn out because I was shooting from my hip or as we were walking in the tour. I was told to stop at least once but when we entered the catacombs below I decided the little Peruivian tour guide wasn´t going to stop me from taking the photo below. How cool are these bones?

We spent most of our first week simply trying to decide what we were gonna do in Peru other than Machu Picchu. We put alot of time into planning our worldwide route but zero time into deciding what to do once we arrived in these countries. To be honest, everytime we head to another town we don´t even know where we´re staying or what we´ll be doing there when we step off the bus.

Lima might have alot to offer but it seemed overcrowded, rushed and wasn´t exactly what we had in mind when we pictured Peru. We left Lima and headed for what we hoped would be a smaller, more beautiful and less hectic town. Most people call Arequipa "The White City" but locals say "when the moon separated from the earth, it forgot to take Arequipa" which sounds much more poetic.

Arequipa is surrounded by three volcanos so everywhere you walk you can see one in the background. The picture below is the cathedral with El Misti rising behind it.

When we were inside the cathedral a small Peruvian man (well they are all small I guess) asked if he could tell us about some of the most important aspects of the church in return for us correcting his English. He was a teacher but apparently there are now hundreds of thousands of unemployed teachers in Peru and so now he´s trying to be a tour guide. We were skeptical at first but have since come to realize that when someone is being nice and helpful to you, sometimes they are just nice and not looking for handouts. Which is refreshing.

He ended up showing us around town for about 2 hours and was so grateful everytime we taught him a new word or corrected his grammar. Thanks Freddy.

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