The Champagne Backpacker: Michael's Round the World Trip 2005-2007-- The Adventure of a Lifetime travel blog

Inside Santa Catalina Convent

Inside Santa Catalina Convent

Typical Nun's Quarters

Santa Catalina Convent And Mountains

Street Demonstration

Arequipa's Main Cathedral

Plaza de Armas, Arequipa's Main Square

Felipe (Chile) And Walter (Peru), Owner of Conccollay Pre Inka Cuisine Restaurant...

FRIDAY, JANUARY 26, 2007. AREQUIPA, PERU. I'm in the ¨White City¨ of Peru, so called because of the white volcanic rock known as sillar used to build many of the colonial buildings. Tomorrow, I take a two-day tour of Canon Del Colca, the second deepest canyon (at 3191 meters) in the world. Hopefully, I'll catch a glimpse of the wild Andean condor.

The Santa Catalina Convent is Arequipa's primary tourist attraction. It's literally a city within a city. For three hundred years, until 1970, the doors of the convent were only open to nuns. Indeed, many nuns rarely, if ever, left the confines of the convent. Walking through and exploring the convent is like going back in time. You can view the nun's living quarters, courtyards, and cooking facilities.

Arequipa's Plaza de Armas stands at the heart of the city. The adjacent Cathedral proudly towering over the plaza. This is the soul of Arequipa, where Peruvians of all ages and status gather throughout the day and night to chat idly, feed the pigeons, and people watch.

In the evening, I ate dinner at Sonccollay Pre Inka Cuisine restaurant, which overlooks Plaza de Armas. It was recommended to me by John, the British guy I spent time with in Cuzco. As the tables were full, I sat with Felipe, a documentary filmmaker from Chile. Walter, the owner, was a very gracious host, giving me a free home made beer (from corn). He also invited me to his sister restaurant in Lima.

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