23.04.2017 – THE FIRST COCA AND THE SECRET LIFE OF THE NUNS

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PIETRUSZKA AFTER THE NEXT DOSE OF MEDICINE FELT QUITE GOOD. WE WONDERED IF IT WAS A RAW FISH, OR SOME VIRUS HAD HARMED HIM. AT BREAKFAST WE WERE GIVEN AN EGG – PREPARATION METHOD OF YOUR CHOICE; BREAD, JUICE, TEA, ROLLS, BUTTER AND JAM.

WE STARTED TOURING THE TOWN FROM THE BAROQUE JESUIT CHURCH OF LA COMPANIA OF THE 17-th CENTURY, BUT THE SUNDAY MORNING MASS CONTINUED, AND WE WERE NOT ABLE TO MOVE FREELY AROUND THE CHURCH. SO WE STOPPED BY, AT THE NEARBY BAR, WHERE WE DRANK THE FAMOUS MATE DE COCA TEA TO PROTECT OURSELVES FROM HIGH ALTITUDE SICKNESS AND FEW OTHERS DISEASES, AND TO HAVE ENOUGH STRENGTH TO THE REST OF THE STAY.

WE SET THE ONLY ONE DAY FOR AREQUIPA. THE NEXT MORNING WE PLANNED A BUS RIDE THROUGH THE COLCA CANYON TO PUNO. WE KNEW THAT THERE WERE TOURIST BUSES ON THIS ROUTE. THEY SET OFF AT HORROR TIME – 3 O’CLOCK IN THE MORNING.

THEY STOP AT FIRST FOR BREAKFAST IN THE ACHOMA VILLAGE. AT 8 O’CLOCK THE BUS STOPS AT A LOOKOUT POINT, CALLED THE CONDOR CROSS (MIRADOR CRUZ DEL CÓNDOR), THEN GOES TO CHIVAY WHERE YOU CAN HAVE LUNCH. IN THE EARLY AFTERNOON THE VEHICLE CLIMBS TO THE ALTITUDE OF THE ABOUT 4900 m a.s.l. ON THE WAY YOU SEE A PERUVIAN PLATEAU, SNOWY PEAKS, PASTURES OF LLAMAS AND VICUÑAS, LAGOONS. THEN STOP FOR A CUP OF TEA. ARRIVE AT PUNO ABOUT 19:30.

WE WERE AWARE THAT IT WOULD NOT BE CHEAP. IN ONE OF THE NUMEROUS AGENCIES AROUND THE MAIN SQUARE WE BOUGHT TICKETS FOR SUCH A RIDE WITHOUT PROBLEMS. THE PRICE INCLUDES RECEPTION DIRECTLY FROM THE HOSTEL; BREAKFAST; DRIVE TO THE VIEWPOINT WHERE THE CONDORS ARE FLYING IN. ON THE WAY, AFTER WATCHING CONDORS, 2 STOPS: LUNCH BREAK; AND DURING THE AFTERNOON DRIVE TO PUNO THE LAST STOP – THIS TIME FOR THE MOUNTAIN TEA. THE LOWEST PRICE WE MANAGED TO GET WAS US $ 43 / pp. YOU SHOULD BARGAIN HERE. PRICES ARE DIFFERENT, DEPENDING ON THE AGENCY. THEY RANGE FROM US $ 50 TO US $ 75.

YOUNG PERUVIAN WOMAN, DRESSED IN FOLK COSTUMES AND HOLDING TINY WHITE LLAMAS ON HANDS WERE ON THE STREET. ANIMAL’S EARS WERE DECORATED WITH WOOLY DECORATIONS. TOUCHING VIEW! NO ONE PASSES INDIFFERENTLY. AND THAT’S THE POINT. GIRLS IMMEDIATELY LINE UP FOR THE PHOTO LAYERING THE LLAMA IN YOUR ARMS. IT IS NECESSARY OF COURSE TO PAY FOR SUCH A SOUVENIR.

THE CATHEDRAL AND THE CHURCH LA COMPANIA WERE STILL CLOSED. SO WE WENT TO THE MONASTERY OF ST. CATHERINE (MONASTERIO DE SANTA CATALINA) FROM XVI CENTURY. EXACTLY FROM 1579. THE SITE IS ONLY ACCESSIBLE TO VISITORS SINCE 1970 WHEN THE NUNS WERE MOVED TO A NEWER LOCATION. GIRLS FROM THE BEST AND RICHEST FAMILIES WERE ADMITTED TO THE MONASTERY FOUNDED BY MARÍA DE GUZMÁN. THIS IMPACTED OF COURSE ONTO THE MODE AND THE STANDARD OF LIVING IN THE ORDER, THE DAYTIME ACTIVITIES, EQUIPPING INTERIORS. THE NUNS HAD THEIR OWN HOUSEMAIDS.

THE WHOLE MONASTERY DEVELOPMENT IS NOT A SINGLE BUILDING BUT A WHOLE TOWN, WITH SEPARATE SQUARES, A LARGE GARDENS AND STREETS, EACH WITH ITS OWN NAME AND SPECIFICITY. YOU CAN SEE THE ROOMS INHABITED BY NUNS, THEIR DECOR. ALMOST EVERY BEDROOM HAD ITS OWN CHAPEL, KITCHEN WITH STOVE, SOMETIMES SERVANT’S ROOM. I WAS ASTONISHED BY THE NUMBER OF STOVES FOR DIFFERENT BAKED GOODS, BUT THE SISTERS WERE KNOWN FOR THEIR SWEET PRODUCE. THERE IS ALSO A SCHOOL. IN THE XIX CENTURY, MORE STRICT RULES WERE INTRODUCED TO THE ORDER, MORE ASCETIC. HOWEVER, IT WAS STILL AN INACCESSIBLE ENCLAVE.

DESPITE THE ASCETICISM, THE WALLS AND BUILDINGS ARE PAINTED ON BRIGHT, SHARP COLOURS. THERE ARE MANY DECORATIVE PLANTS, FLOWERS. STAYING HERE WILL CARRYING YOU A LITTLE BIT BACK IN TIME.

AREQUIPA – ROOM AT HOSTEL LA CASA DEL SILLAR

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IN THE AFTERNOON, WANDERING AROUND THE OLD AREQUIPA, WE APPROACHED THE CATHEDRAL AND THE INTERESTING US CHURCH TWICE. THEY WERE CLOSED.

THE OLD PART OF AREQUIPA HAS A LOW, MOSTLY WHITE DEVELOPMENT. SMALL, SOMETIMES NARROW STREETS ARE COMPLEMENTING THE WHOLE, WHICH APPRECIATES FOR THE BEAUTY NOT ONLY TOURISTS BUT ALSO PROUD OF THEIR CITY, RESIDENTS.

IN THE END, THE IGLESIA DE LA COMPAÑÍA WAS OPENED, SO QUICKLY – IN ORDER TO BE IN TIME BEFORE MASS – WE CAME IN. THE RICHLY DECORATED, GILDED ALTAR, THE MASTERPIECE OF THE PERUVIAN BAROQUE, ATTRACTS ATTENTION.

EVENING FELL. WE WERE MOOCHING THROUGH THE STREETS SEARCHING FOR A PLACE TO EAT. MANY OF THE EATERIES WERE CLOSED AFTER THE MADNESS OF SATURDAY NIGHT. FINALLY, IN A SMALL, QUITE BUSY EATING PLACE “CHIFA AL PASO”, WE ATE PASTA WITH VEGETABLES AND FRIED MEAT WITH RICE. PRICE 27,5 S.

WHEN WE REACHED HOME I FELT VERY COLDLY. EVEN THE WARM SHOWER DIDN’T HELP. ALL NIGHT – AS FAR AS IT CAN BE CALLED THE NIGHT – COLD CHILLS JOLTED ME …

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