It’s only just the 16th, but I feel lucky to know the day even. We haven’t been traveling all that long, but without any real schedule or connection to anything, it is easy to lose track.Especially after our half day in a bus station, followed by a 16-hour overnight bus ride. We chose not to pursue the Nazca Lines, which are outside of Nazca, not Ica as I said before. Ica is on the way to Nazca. Regardless, it was cloudy, and the only way to see the lines is by a plane ride. We figured there’d be nothing to see. We later found out they won’t even fly when it is cloudy. It was Tim’s decision, as he was the excited one. Similar to me deciding not to pursue Iquitos.
The bus from Lima to Arequipa was long. It was fairly high class though. The seats were semi-beds, and I slept quite well. Tim did not, and at times we were both a bit sick to our stomach. We were also on the second level of the bus, which may not have helped. Still, they provided blankets and pillows, fed us dinner and breakfast, handed out headphones for the movies, and gave us single-use toothpaste with a little brush. We even played BINGO. Man it was hard to follow the numbers so quickly.
We met Tomas from Stuttgart, Germany, while waiting in line getting on the bus. When we got off, we said hello, found out he had a phone, and that he was interested in the same hostel as us, oh and that his Spanish was way better too. So he called and booked us all the hostel and then we shared a cab, He was eager to take advantage of his day in Arequipa; we’d arrived at 8:30 a.m. His excitement was infectious, and we went along with him. We came up with the game plan as we sat having tea looking over the main plaza from a balcony coffee shop. This was the way the Lonely Planet guide suggested starting the day. We enjoyed it enough to follow the next suggestions.
We went to the Museo Santury, where I learned I was dead wrong about the Incas not doing human sacrifice. Even after my three weeks in Cuzco last year, I had this wrong. They sacrificed unblemished children to the gods, to mollify natural disasters. They have found at least 18 burial sites at the tops of mountains, where children were killed in response to something like a volcano eruption. We say the frozen ice princess Jaunita today, One such child who was found in very good condition due to the way the temperatures worked.
Then we went to the Monasterio de Santa Cataliina, which was expensive but amazing. It was a whole endless city inside a city almost. A rich woman founded the cloistered community, but the vow of poverty was laughable because the cells were huge and nice. Apparently later another nun came and stopped many of the crazy practices like saying no one nun could have more than one personal servant. Anyway, it was very impressive. I saw the cell of St. Ana, who was canonized in 1985 when JP2 came to Arequipa. There was a rooftop view where we could see the amazing snow-capped mountains on the side of the city.
After a siesta this evening, the three of us went out to take night pics around town, and to get a drink. In a bar I don’t know the name of, we met an Irishman from Tipperary named Simon. He is a secondary school science teacher. Tim and he got into quite an animated conversation about science and religion and certainty and uncertainty and faith and axioms and etc etc. Tomas and I participated from the periphery.
Now I am up too late because we are leaving at 8 or so tomorrow to tour the Colca Canyon, which is said to be two times deeper than the Grand, and simply an amazing site. The trip is two days with a stay out near the Canyon. We had quite a decision this afternoon since there are so many versions of the trip. We had decided to look with Tomas, so there was a third person involved. But I was also dealing with concerns for my foot, which I do not want to hurt so that i cannot hike to Machu Piccu, Anyway, we stuck to a bus tour instead of trekking down into the canyon and back up. Sounds like a nasty, easy way to hurt my foot.
I hope we will be happy with the decision.
So all continues to go well. Thank you for your thoughts and time here,