The white city

Trip Start Dec 26, 2009
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Trip End Dec 22, 2010


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Flag of Peru  ,
Friday, October 1, 2010

The white city, not named after the colour of the people occupying it; but by its old, classical white stoned buildings deriving from the copious amounts of volcanoes existing in the area. The stone strangely enough, felling like durable pumas.

The local Arequipians don't think of themselves as Peruvians. Apparently they are better than that and are trying to become a separate entity from Peru. I do admit, it has an exquisite center and elder sector. But like every other city in the Central Andes, as you get further away from the main square, the quality of the infrastructure quickly deteriorates and you find yourself wondering how on earth you ended up there.

The people presiding in the city are devoted catholics, the cites expenses supporting their passion. I watched in disgust as hundreds of overbearing people marched bye praising their Saviour. Who decorated in expensive delicate outfits, walked right past a child wearing nothing but stained, white rags. A dirty plastic cup deriving from the ground now in her hand; she proceeded in drinking from the central water fountain, which is infested with disgusting, diseases ridden pigeon's who defecated as they see fit. Not one of the people in the parade even flinched, let alone helped.

Why do these South American societies continue to ignore the problems right in front their faces and chuck ridiculous amounts of money away into religious gatherings, practices and structures instead. Is it in hope they will receive a peaceful life once they are through the gates of heaven? I hope some of the decisions made wether good or bad, are from their own will, not someone else's..

Sorry its a bit of a crude outburst on my behalf. I'm just tired of seeing the same relationship here in Latin America over and over again.

I visited a very interesting museum, which I highly recommend (the name of it escapes me) Its based around a 15 year old girl, Juanita. Her body was found preserved at below freezing temperatures at the top of nearby volcano Misty. The little girl was sacrificed to the Incan gods, in hope the volcanic eruptions would cease. There method; march her from Cuzco (a 10 hour bus ride) in shoes fabricated from llama skin (skin from one of the 150 llamas which were also sacrificed), get her drunk, then strike her on the head.

Ten years ago there were eruptions from a nearby volcano, releasing Juanita from under the earth into the creator below. She was found three days later with the sides of her face exposed to the sun, slightly decomposed. It was unnerving staring at her well preserved body; a real life time capsule from the past, contained in a block of ice.

Apparently Arequipa has a thriving night life, however I would not get a chance to experience it. Two days before elections, an alcohol ban was put in place. Seems like the Peruvians cant be trusted to" drink and vote" Funny, yet slightly confusing. Not wanting to be stuck in a dry city for two days, I fled from society, towards the serenity of the second deepest canyon in the world.



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