20/17 Arequipa, Peru

Tacna, Peru
February 17, 2018

Tacna is interesting for what it represents in our journey… no more borders! Chile/Peru is our last (except USA, home).

We entered the city after only a short ride from Chile, hardly twenty minutes. The Road the traffic while the same, the Chilean politeness has disappeared. Must admit, Chile is very educated.

Back to Tacna. It seems relaxed, and laid back. The food, that was my mistake. Why would I want to eat Chinese food in a city that has hardly any Chinese population? Correct! We ate something resembling Chinese, but truth…? It was local, poorly cooked gunk!

The hotel, ahh, that was good value. Sixth floor, modern and cheap!

Peruvians sure are social. At the border, at customs (ten km later – not at the border), at the gas station. Everywhere people engage you with questions, culminating with their own desire to do a trip like ours. Pleasure to tell them as they listen intently.

We left Tacna on our way to Arequipa, Peru’s second largest city. For the most part we traveled at over 4,000 feet high, though you swear it was by the ocean … it was not. At times the high sand dunes become serious descends of 10 miles, dropping two or three thousand feet… throw a bunch of curves and twisters fir good measure. Fun!

To Arequipa there is a lot of trucks and a two-lane road. Yes, slow going for most everyone, John and I are quite adept at passing under these conditions. In little time we find ourselves at the front…. except. Entering the city it is impossible to try and clear 20 it 30 trucks when the traffic coming at you is equally heavy. Take your time, grim and bear it.

We got lost on account of a new freeway being built in the city, oh, that’s bad! Forty minutes later we find ourselves at our hotel after a two-mile detour after detour for having lost our way on the wrong side of the freeway being built. Something about grin and bear it, though John was ready to kill me!

Monastery of Santa Catalina

Later we went to a monastery that started in 1579 and remains active to this date. Twenty nuns still live there, though the Dominican Order has opened the monastery in order to raise funds for its maintenance and upkeep.

History in abundance, truly a mysterious place. Just to give you an idea: nuns, in the olden times, enter the monastery via a huge dowry (to the church) bringing along two or three servants! Today they do not do that (dowry or servants). Currently there are 20 nuns from at one time of 179 nuns lived there. They live there which means there at times were conflict among them. Living in proximity, 179 women… you bet there is going to be conflict!

Arequipa is at the base if the Volcán Misti, resulting in that the city has used the spewing ashes from the volcano as construction material. The Old city is basically white. The cathedral certainly has that ashen look to it.

Dinner by the main plaza, which means a tourist fare. Not bad, but far from good, and… you pay for eating at a tourist place.

Oh, almost forgot! Everywhere we have gone we only order “local” beer as best as possible. Today, for me, the local beer Arequipeña… the Best!!

Good enough for today

Good night.



Just loafing and hanging our hotel in Tacna.  From the sixth floor it had a  great view



The road to arequipa is a reminder that Southern Peru, not far from Northern Chile… A lot of mining and equipment for mining you see on the road



There is no town in South America without a Cathedral… Peru no exception… nor Arequipa.  Here the church is built from the ashes of the Volcan Misti.  All white.





And the best for last!  We visited a Monastery founded in 1579 and remains active!   At one time 179 nuns lived here with servants!! At times there were serious conflicts that the Mother Superior had to solve, not an easy task!  today only 20 nuns occupy the place… Times are changing.  They had inside the convent their own houses, and the servants lived upstairs.  The nuns prayed a minimum of seven hours a day!  It was indeed a calling.


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