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Across Peru in 10 days

The cities of Puno and Arequipa

sunny 20 °C
View Blissfully Wanderlost on ebmarnp's travel map.

We traveled from Cusco to the city of Puno, beside Lake Titicaca. The area lies 12500 feet above sea level, the largest lake in South America and the highest navigable lake in the world, and is unique for the multiple native cultures which reside around the lake and on the islands within the lake.

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The land is arid and dry, but the views are amazing.

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Llama crossing!

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Following Puno, we traveled to Arequipa the second largest city in Peru and 4000 feet lower than Puno.

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This colonial city is famous for its buildings made from a pearly white volcanic rock called sillar.

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The city is ringed by three active volcanoes, all around 20,000 feet high, which provide a unique backdrop to the antique churches and scattered palm trees.

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We decided to visit the Santa Catalina Monastary, a convent which was founded in 1580. It wasn't open to the public until 1979, at which point the treasure trove of hundreds-of-year-old china, statues, paintings, and architecture was able to be admired by all.

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The nuns were well known for their baking, including pastries, muffins, and other sweet goodies. Kevin went looking for some.

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Dirty habits were washed in large ceramic jugs by the numerous servants.

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A dry wishing well in the kitchen!

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Despite numerous earthquakes the convent has been restored beautifully and provided amazing views of the city and sunset.

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Arequipa has provided us good food (Morrocan, Mexican, Italian, and French), great live rock music, and much needed rest and relaxation!

Posted by ebmarnp 16:39 Archived in Peru Tagged sunset church lake city Comments (2)

Carrr-tagena

A pirate's favorite city

semi-overcast 28 °C


Since Friday we have been wandering the streets of the old walled city of Cartagena de las Indias on the Caribbean coast of Colombia. It's truly an inspiring example of colonial architecture and Latin American color:

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And chess is still played in the city square.

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These guys must have been hot.

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But she was cool.

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After a big night on the town Saturday, we decided to wallow in the mud at the Volcano Totumo on Sunday. It is, literally, a pit of mud:

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And we got in it!

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It certainly was one of the strangest sensations of my life. Men rub you down with the mud, women wash you off in the river, little kids take your picture. It's a family affair. But here we are clean as ever.

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When life gives you a mud volcano, you make a tourist attraction out of it. Of course.

Posted by kevindhodges 08:15 Archived in Colombia Tagged volcano city party mud Comments (4)

Oh, Gra-na-da!

Our lovely dried out land

sunny 26 °C

We've settled for a bit in the picturesque colonial city of Granada, Nicaragua.

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We arrived on Tuesday and suffered another full day of rain but the weather has progressively improved with ample sunshine today. One of the best aspects of this city is the bright and vivid colors of the exteriors of buildings in the old section.

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The well-appointed Hostel Oasis is our host, and at $20/night it's a much better deal than a Costa Rican hostel with similar amenities: wifi, computer room, huge communal kitcehen, pool, movie and book library, do it yourself laundry (with a rooftop clothesline), and a hungry cat that visits the courtyard around 3 am and wakes everyone up.

We have settled into a nice routine of cooking delicious meals, ingredients bought at the sprawling outdoor market one block from our hostel, working out and doing yoga daily at the Pure Gym and strolling the main tourist street trying to avoid the children selling flowers and animals made of woven palm frond leaves.

Liz started a 20-hour intensive Spanish class this morning at the well-recommended APC school, located on the main square, in the heart of Granada. Kevin has started a campaign to rid the hostel of cats.

Tonight marks the end of the inaugural Granada International Jazz Festival, an event we have tried to take advantage. Here's proof that we still splurge every now and then on dates.

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Liz is wearing a new dress, new shoes, new necklace, and new earrings. All for the low, low price of $28. Kevin is wearing a shirt for once.

Posted by kevindhodges 09:03 Archived in Nicaragua Tagged buildings city music exercise Comments (10)

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