Thursday, 9 May 2013

The Peru circuit (Day 2) - Arequipa, Yanahuara district - The 26th of April 2013

We flew down South to Arequipa fairly early in the morning, having taken a local airline on what turned out to be a rather pleasant and uneventful 1H25 minute flight.

We were met by our new guide, Fidélia, a rather active and military like lady, who upon our arrival introduced us to a new couple we would be travelling with before heading towards the Yanahuara belvedere, where we were provided the first information regarding not only the region but also the expected visits for the two following days.

The view was magnificent with the cultivated terraces and the three vulcanoes that surround the city of Arequipa - Misty (5821m), Chachani (6075m) and Pichu Pichu (5440m).

We bought out first coca mate tea and drops at a local shop soon after having been told of the benefits associated to the use of coca, particularly regarding several rather distinct malaises.

The beauty of Yanahuara seems to be closely tied to the Sillar buildings. The pearly white volcanic rock is obtained from various quarries, located close to the city. Being formed by  volcanic, petrified lava hardened by thousands of years without becoming too solid, makes it an adequate material for carving.

The 1750 church of San Juan Bautista's elaborately carved façade is an example of that application to the typical decorative pattern of Andean Baroque architectural style and has been considered one of the most outstanding of this genre.

The stone arched belvedere provided us with a rather exquisite view under the presence of the Misti volcano and the inspiring words of several poets inscribed on those archs.

On the way to Arequipa, just a few kilometres away, we were able to observe several people tending their crops.

Having reached the Convent  now turned into a hotel, we would be staying at, a peaceful atmosphere descended upon me ... it was as if the Virgin Mary hotel bedroom painting (Cusco school, almost surely) might be watching over me  ...

(to be continued)

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