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Peru - Day 17 (July 22, 2023)

Arequipa

Description

Rafting on the Chili River
Walking tour of Arequipa

Lodging

Hampton by Hilton Arequipa

Details

We had a fun rafting adventure on the Rio Chili (which lived up to its name) right in the middle of Arequipa. The trip was very well run and our guide was a kick. He kept saying, "it's all part of the show" whenever the ride got exciting. We were in a raft with a young couple from Austria. They had never rafted before and everyone had a great time.

We walked into central Arequipa and had a great sandwich at La Lucha Sangucheria Criolla - so good I vowed we would be back. Then we met our guide for our afternoon city tour. He drove us to an overlook so we could get a good view of the beautiful volcanoes surrounding the city. Arequipa is called "the white city" because the old buildings are constructed of white volcanic rock, sillar. The buildings are very beautiful and definitely show a Moorish influence. I'm guessing there were a lot of immigrants from Southern Spain. We learned the gigantic cathedral has been re-built several times due to volcanic eruptions and earthquakes, and each time it was built back bigger than before. The highlight of our tour was a visit to the Monasterio de Santa Catalina. This huge convent was founded in 1579 by the Spaniards and was a place where young women would be trained as nuns and live out their lives in this "city within a city". It is a very beautiful place and the life there might have been preferable to some of the alternatives.

We walked across a park to the restaurant, Zig Zag where we ate entirely too much pork! After dinner we walked back to our hotel and encountered a political demonstration right outside. So we had to go against all the advice we had heard about avoiding demonstrations in Peru and walk through the crowd to get to our hotel. There were half a dozen police in full riot gear guarding our hotel entrance, so that was different. In my discussions with Peruvians I had learned that the communist party in Peru is trying to stir up demonstrations in an effort to get an early election called. They don't like Dina Boluarte who succeeded Pedro Castillo after he was arrested and imprisoned for trying to dissolve congress and rule by decree. I also learned that Castillo was basically a puppet of the Communist party. As an indigenous person and a former schoolteacher he definitely made an appealing candidate.

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Posted by rewagner 21:19 Archived in Peru

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