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Friday, 06/10/2005...

Our Peru for Less (PFL) reps took us back to the Lima airport. We checked in and stopped at a Dunkin' Donuts for breakfast - $9 for two coffees and three donuts - that's airport food for you. The flight was just over an hour long.

When we arrived in Arequipa, we didn't see our PFL rep. Fortunately, he showed up and took us to our hotel, Casa Andina Arequipa. It was around 8:30 AM and we were exhausted. We took a nap until 12:30 PM and then had lunch at a place down the street called "La Quinta." John, Cecily and Mom had the daily special, fried chicken brochettes with French fries, while Dad had a tropical fruit chicken dish.

We met Rosario at the hotel and she took us on a tour of Arequipa. We visited a district called Puente Grau, which means "black underwear." We stopped at a lookout point that was breathtaking. Also, there were three alpacas and a llama. (You can tell the difference because alpacas have shorter necks and their tails point down.) John and Cecily went down for a closer look at the animals. They liked Cecily a lot. The llama came up to her and let her pet him. He even gave her a kiss.

Rosario pointed out the three Mountains surrounding the city - El Misti (an active volcano), Picchu Picchu, and Chachani. She indicated this area has many earthquakes, being near the continental divide.

We walked around and saw some old churches.

The highlight of the tour was the Monastery/Convent Santa Catalina. This convent had been continuously occupied for more than 400 years by Dominican nuns. We bought some postcards at the gift shop.

After the convent, Dad went back to the hotel to rest and John, Cecily and Mom continued on with Rosario. We stopped for ice cream and a potty break. We then stopped in a few shops and Cecily bought an Alpaca sweater (at Alpaca111). We made one more cathedral stop (Church of the Company: A 17th century Jesuit church with a remarkable sculpted facade and carved wood pulpit) before parting from Rosario.

A beggar lady pinned a Virgin Mary pin on John and asked for money. She didn't want the kind of money John tried to give her, so mom gave her some and she then pinned the same things on Mom and Cecily. After walking around the block (historic Main square: The Plaza de Armas), the woman approached us again, saying we hadn't given her enough money. Cecily and Mom gave back the pins the woman had given them and we went on our way. It's not like we wanted them in the first place.

We had dinner at Ary Quepay. We tried Pisco Sours, which tasted like margaritas. Mom had a stuffed pepper, Cecily had a cheesy potato dish and John had alpaca steak. Although we felt bad about it, we really liked the alpaca and will probably order it again. During dinner Cecily was trying to break apart a piece of bread with one hand and ended up pelting her mother with it.

We went back to the hotel, where John took a shower and Cecily wrote her postcard to send to her work. After finishing the card, Cecily noticed the picture on the postcard was actually llamas copulating. No wonder the llamas looked so happy.

How did we all miss that? She mailed it anyway.

We were so pooped; we went to bed at 9 PM.

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