As my second week in Arequipa draws to a close I realise I haven’t really done that much but it’s been nice.
I continued studying at Spanish School Arequipa and felt that things started to fall into place this week. Spanish is staring to make a lot more since now thanks to my wonderful teachers Beatriz and Jeannett. Another 2 weeks would make a huge difference but it’s time for me to move on. I think that sometime soon on my travels I’m going to have to dedicate some more time to study.
This week I also visited the Monastery de Santa Catalina. The Monastery is right in the middle of town and has been there for around 500 years. It has been restored a couple of time due to damage from earthquakes. One thing I took away was the nuns ability to be self sufficient away from the rest of the world even whilst being in the middle of a city!
Arequipa had an earthquake this week one night – well they were just tremors actually. Apparently it had a magnitude of 4.8. Because my hotel, Casa de Avila, is made of silla (type of stone) the walls are quite thick and absorbed much of the movement… Or maybe all of it, I can’t say for sure as I slept through the entire thing!! I do feel a little disappointed that I missed my first earthquake but tremors happen here regularly so maybe I’ll get another chance.
This week I’ve also visited 2 museums Santuarios Andinos and Historico Municipal. Museo Santuarios Andinos is dedicated to the Inca bodies found on the volcanoes which were given as sacrifices to the gods 500 odd years ago. The museum actually houses Juanita who is the most famous Inca sacrifice found on Ampato Volvano. Juanita is technically not a mummy but a frozen girl because she still has skin, muscles, organs etc. It is believed that she was an Inca princess
who was sacrificed which is a custom I’m not going to pretend to understand. However I also don’t understand/ agree with recovering the bodies from their resting places. Admittedly the scientists have been able to determine a lot through studying the body but I just feel uneasy about disturbing a body from its final resting place. Also Juanita’s grave had given way and she had already started to slip down the mountain. I think it’s just the thought that I wouldn’t want to be disturbed after 500 years.
Museo Historico Municipal has a bit of an accleptic mix of exhibits. It starts off with Chiribaya (pre-Inca) exhibits but soon turns into an art gallery and has a naval exhibit which I couldn’t quite figure out given how far Arequipa is from the sea.
See full gallery here.