Arequipa and the Monastery

Written by Nadine Zangerle on . Posted in Peru

After our crazy hike in the Colca Canyon Michael was seriously sick. The trip back to Arequipa seemed to take ages and every time when I thought we are almost there the road twisted in another never-ending pavement.

When we reached the town after 6 bumpy hours we just jumped into a taxi to get into the center. We found a nice bed & breakfast and treated ourselves to a private room. Better to cure Michael’s cold.

Who thought I would get away with it after all this huffing and puffing in my face, sharing a bed and a water bottle. Soon I started coughing and sneezing as well. This bacterial couldn’t just pass on without noticing my existence.

Well nothing to do about it so we decided to take it easy, walk around town, enjoy the beautiful Spaniards buildings and do our laundry. Down the roads we could have a glimpse towards the massive volcano El Misti and we were surprised about this modern city. We have heard about the Monastery Santa Catalina and decided to explore this citadel.

Built and founded in 1580 from a rich Spanish lady it was a monastery for rich Spanish women who wanted to retreat from world and live in the name of God. Each nun had not only two/three rooms with a small kitchen, beautifully furnished, but also a maid. Well this obviously changed and with only about 30 nuns left the contact to the world also changed.

Only twice a week the monastery stays open till 8pm and dimmed in petrol lamps and candle lights the rooms and streets appear mystical. Luckily we picked this day to explore the place and wandered around for almost 5 hours, took plenty of pictures and tried to imagine a life behind those walls in the 16th century.

The next day both of us were fighting with a massive cold and bought some drugs to sooth the pain. We were on the way to Lima, meeting Sandia’s Cousin and had to survive a 16 hours bus ride to the capitol of Peru. But the bus company reminded us on Argentinian operators – comfortable, wide seats, own TV and even food on board. What else do you want? So let’s get some sleep and wake up in the next city.

Accommodation: Los Andes Bed & Breakfast, La Merced 123, Arequipa,

Price: PEN $ 65 p. room, double with shared bathroom, wifi, kitchen

Comment: great place to relax with big sun roof terrace and kitchen. Breakfast is also great.