South America | Peru | Southern Peru | Arequipa – Casa De Avila
Things got much better after Lima. My hotel/guest house had someone waiting for me at the airport in Arequipa and drove me straight away to my lodgings. I am staying in an old Spanish colonial home with a huge central grass courtyard that has been converted into a cullinary school and hotel. If I had an extra week, I would enroll in the Spanish school they also operate for the guests at an unbelievably inexpensive price.
I spent most of yesterday exploring the Santa Catalina Convent, a highlight not to be missed when visiting Arequipa. The convent is actually a small city inside a city and was walled off well over three hundred years ago and little has changed since. Much has been written about the convent so I’ll just say I had a real interesting time and that its beauty and serenity were a welcome break after traveling. I might note that this is one of the few places I regretted not going on a guided tour as I felt I probably missed a few things. Oh well, next time.
I have tried to wake up early to photograph the White City but have yet to hit the streets before about 7:00 a.m.. Today I went out to firm up plans for my visit to the Colca Canyon and half day countryside tour, when I got back to the Casa De Avila I was invited into the graduating class of the cullinary school and offered to taste the lessons of the day, which I did. They were incredible. I don´t think this is offered to everyone but a little kindness goes a long way in Peru and is often rewarded. So often I see guests be rude to their hosts/guides/people of peru, they are the ones that lose out in the long run….