piątek, 16 marca 2007
We passed further 566 km and around 9 we reached Arequipa In the passage to the terminal we met a woman holding a page with 4 names written on it. It wasn't before a moment later that we understood, that those were our names. It wasn't easy. See for yourself:
PAVEL SACKPANTIAK LITOLD VIESCIEK VAREK PRUSAK HARCIN CENDRU
It turned out that Mery and Suly called Arequipa and informed the agency, that 4 tourists from Poland are coming and ready to get fleeced;).
We've only managed to freshen up a bit and the lady proposed a riding trip around the outskirts of Arequipa for only 60 PEN and a two-day trip to the Colca canyon for $30 and 35 PEN for entering the park. We still have 2 hours to the horse trip. We take a quick walk around Arequipa. The old part of the town is admirable and the inhabitants (948,390 in 2007) are very proud of it.
Arequipa is the capital of the Arequipa province. It lies at 2325 meters above sea level surrounded by the Cordillera Volcanica mountains. It is the second largest city in Peru. Arequipa was founded in 1540 by Garcí Manuel de Carbajal, Francisco Pizarro's emissary. In 1541 it was given municipal rights by the king of Spain, Carlos V. In November 2000 the Arequipa Old Town was placed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Arequipa es la capital de la provincia de Arequipa y la segunda más importante del Perú. La ciudad fue finalmente fundada por Garcí Manuel de Carbajal en la ribera izquierda del río Chili, asentada sobre un valle estrecho, templado y fértil que forma un oasis sobre las áridas tierras que dominan la región de Arequipa. Esta fundación fue el 15 de agosto de 1540. Poco tiempo después, el 22 de setiembre de 1541, Carlos V la elevó a categoría de ciudad. El casco antiguo de la ciudad, declarado por la UNESCO Patrimonio de la Humanidad en noviembre de 2000, está comprendido básicamente en los distritos de Arequipa y Yanahuara.
As for the city name's etymology, it is traditionally said that Inca Mayta Cápac said
Ari quepay. In Kechuan (as far as I understood it. I still have to consult an expert:)) it is supposed to mean
Yes, stay. In this meaning Arequipa seems to be a very hospitable city:). Another theory traces the name back to the words Ari Kipa, which would mean close to the peak. What's meant is probably the nearby El Misti volcano that prevails over the city.
La tradición dice que el Inca Mayta Cápac dijo
Are quepay (en quechua:
Aquí, quedaos) cuando parte del contigente de su expedición pidió poder establecerse indefinidamente en el valle de Arequipa.
Arequipa is sometimes called the White City because most of the old part is built of white volcanic tuf called sillar. The neighbourhood has plenty of it (the region has over 80 volcanoes).
Conocida con el antonomástico de La Ciudad Blanca por las edificaciones coloniales de su centro histórico realizadas en sillar, una vistosa piedra volcánica de color blanco muy abundante en la región, extraída de las canteras de sillar ubicadas a las afueras de la ciudad de Arequipa.
We didn't have much time and we did have to eat something, so we could only watch the Wite Town on the go. It's a shame, it surely deserves more attention.
We went back to the hotel and waited for the cab. In the meantime I admired the anti-burglary devices at the hotel. You can see them on the picture.
To be honest, I wasn't really sure if the horse idea was a good one. I had never done it before... On the other hand, I thought, they weren't going to sent me to the orthopaedic ward at the very beging. Not while I still have some money to spend.
Comforted with this thought I got onto the horse and it wasn't that bad. Of course I couldn't have rode correctly, and the horse couldn't have been a demanding one, but still I had been riding for 2 hours and did not fall. Additionally, it was fantastic! If you ever happen to be in Arequipa I honestly recommend this attraction. Unfortunately the only evidence I have are the photos of my companions with my hands in the front:).
And the terraces, where Indians grew plants even in the Inca period...
On the way we passed people who dug something out of the earth. I don't know what it was, but surely not potatoes.
After the trip we made a short visit to the Arequipa Cathedral and, tired, we went to sleep.