A Travellerspoint blog

6.28.10: Arequipa, Peru

Exploring Arequipa

Today we checked into a brand new hostel, definitely worth noting, La Casa Blanca.
A homey cafe/hostel ran by two Seattle natives. The rooms, made of sillar and brick, are modern and chic, the water is hot (not hot meaning luke-warm like other hostels advertise, hot as in 'I want to live in this shower forever' hot) and the breakfast of eggs, toast, bacon, coffee, and fresh pineapple juice is to die for.

We walked around the plaza and headed to the Museo Santuarios Andinos.
The museum features exhibits of mummies and relics from the Inca empire, but is dominated by one tiny girl: Juanita, the ice maiden of Ampato. The victim of a ritualistic sacrifice by Inca priests on the volcano just outside of Arequipa, Mt. Ampato, she was buried by the ice at 21,000ft and frozen in time for over 500 years. After an eruption of the volcano in 1995 caused the ice surrounding her to melt, she was finally discovered in what has been christened 'the most important archeological find of the past few decades'. She is astonishingly preserved and is not a skeleton or a mummy at all, but an actual frozen corpse, complete with nails, hair, and skin.
Today she is kept in a glass-walled freezer chamber and is truly a sight to see.
It was, by far, the most fascinating museum tour I’ve ever been on.

Next was a delightful lunch. A rocotto rellena (meat stuffed pepper) with potatoes and it was muy delicioso!
Then we went on a ridiculous scavenger hunt for a waterproof, disposable camera to use tomorrow when we go white water rafting. Come to find out, they don't exist in Arequipa, no disposable cameras anywhere.
As we were walking, we spotted, what looked like a corn dog stand, but instead of the typical cornbread casing, it had a waffle cone shell.
For one sole we knew we had to investigate. Yep, there was a dog inside.

We headed to a local market, brought some local Peruvian wine and cheese with some fresh baked bread, watched a movie and fell into a dream.

Posted by emichele 12:19 Archived in Peru

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