Dancing along the pavement

This morning many of us enjoyed an al fresco breakfast by the pool before meeting our guides, Alvaro and Omar, for our Arequipa city tour.

First stop was a spectacular viewpoint of the three mountains surrounding Arequipa: Misti, Pichu Pichu, and Chachani. From here we drove to Plaza de Yanahuara which looks out over the city and houses the Yanahuara church, built in 1750 using the Andean Baroque style. At first glance this church could be a European baroque church built in white stone, but details such as replacing European animals with South American ones show this to be a distinct style. 

From Yanahuara we drove to the city centre and wandered around the impressive square of the Centro Historico. Our grand finale was a visit to the Monasterio de Santa Catalina. This convent is almost a city within a city, covering a vast area and including cloisters, kitchens, living quarters, alleyways and beautiful squares. In the past, when it was home to many nuns, it used to be common practice to send the second daughter from every family to the convent when she was 12 years old to guarantee the family entry into the kingdom of heaven. One of the most noticeable features of the convent are the bright blue and orange walls, as well as brightly coloured flowers. 

This evening we visited Richard and Dawn’s favourite Arequipa restaurant, called Zig-Zag. As we reached the front door of the restaurant, Richard heard a busker singing on the opposite pavement. He had a good singing voice, so Richard invited Dawn for an impromptu dance along the pavement, to wild applause from Furlongs clients and locals alike. Well, to be honest, “wild applause” is possibly an over-statement.

Inside the restaurant we climbed a spiral staircase to our exclusive first floor dining room. Definitely cozy, but also a great atmosphere and friendly, hard-working staff. We enjoyed delicious food, in particular the trio of beef, chicken and alpaca presented on a hot stone and, of course, another Pisco Sour. And a record breaking number of bottles of wine were consumed too. Richard had to stay and help with the washing up to cover the bill!