Tuesday, February 12, 2002

Jean-Paul fixed us eggs and rolls this morning and gave us loads of information. He had just returned from a trip to many of the places we planned to go, and he had lots of recommendations for us. Information overload!

Our plan was to spend as little time as possible in Lima, so Jean-Paul had made us reservations to fly to Arequipa today. The flight to Arequipa takes only one hour. It takes close to 20 hours to go by bus. No sooner had we gotten to Lima than it was time to leave. On our way back to the airport, JP drove us down the malecon and we stopped for a couple of photos. People drive crazy here. It is scary!

El Malecon en Miraflores

The road along the coast in Lima is like nothing we've seen - ocean to the left, desert cliffs to the right. The cliffs were composed of what appeared to be dirt and loose gravel. They looked like they should collapse at any second, but it doesn't rain, so they stay put.

In Arequipa we took a taxi to La Casa de Melgar. Our room was so cool! It was huge and had a 16-foot domed ceiling made of brick and very tall windows and doors suitable for giants. The walls of this 18th-century building were made out of sillar (white volcanic rock). The place had a very Gothic feel to it.

La Casa de Melgar

Arequipa is at 8278ft/2524m. We came here at this point in our trip to try to acclimatize some before heading higher, since the rest of our trip will be at well over 10,000 feet. It's a good thing we did too, because we're feeling it. Arequipa is situated in a valley surrounded by volcanoes, and there are some very scenic vistas here.

Relaxing at the Casa


Continue to day 3.

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