|Today we visited the huge Santa Catalina Monastery which takes up a whole block in downtown Arequipa. A real sight to behold with fantastic colonial architecture. The monastery comes equipped with six streets, several cloisters, church, communal areas, a farm and a rather ingenious laundry system (the pictures explain well). Thirty nuns still reside in the new convent which is not part of the tourist attraction but we got to see where the nuns used to live, pray and work before 1970 when it was opened up for all to see.
In the afternoon we visited one of the best colonial mansions of Arequipa which housed yet more art and some quite impressive maps of South America throughout the ages.
After all this activity there was only one thing to do go down to the plaza and have some beers, while watching the world go by.
Later we had dinner with a Dutch girl, Mika and friend and then hit a live music bar where we got slightly pissed. A nice way to end our last day in Peru.
What can we say about Peru. A brilliant country with so many gems on and beneath the surface. The cities with their plazas, cathedrals and colonial architecture, the great people, the quite brilliant ruins and just a place where we felt happy. We can't really single out things because its not fair but Machu Picchu and Choquequirau will almost stay in my mind and for Anna it was chatting to the locals in her 'dodgy' spanish, which she brushed up at spanish school. We definetly want to come back, because there is still so much to do, from the jungle to the beaches of the north and yet more ruins whether they be Inca or not. Peru, we love you.
Day 323 complete