Did we learn nothing from the tragedy of Pompeii?
Trip Start Sep 11, 2008
70Trip End Jan 03, 2009
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El Misti, whose perfectly conical form towers over the city, is still active. There have been many minor eruptions in the past, and it seems only a matter of time before it decides to really explode. The cityīs history is dotted with earthquakes, and tremors are frequent. I was woken up by one at 3am one morning! Yet despite this, the city, (the centre of which is only 17km from El Misti) continues to grow and suburbs sprawl out up the sides of the mountain! I couldnīt live here thatīs for sure!
My flight out of Arequipa wasnīt until late afternoon so I had half a day to kill
The bus stopped at a few lookouts on the outskirts of the city which had good views of the farmlands and surrounding volcanoes, as well as an old water-driven flour-grinding mill, and a colonial mansion which I found only mildly interesting.
At one of the lookout stops, I bought some of the local cheese icecream to try. It sounds disgusting I know, but itīs made with lots of coconut as well as cheese, and sprinkled with cinnamon, and it is really delicious!
After the tour, I decided to finally give one of the restaurants above the plaza a go, as I wanted to try some more local Arequipena food. I had a huge bowl of cream of maize soup (kind of like corn, but white, and not quite as sweet), juice made from Arequipena papaya (smaller, and much creamier and sweeter than normal papaya) and then a dish called rocoto relleno, which is a hot chilli pepper stuffed with meat (in this case alpaca), potato etc, and baked. It was really good, except I made the mistake of taking a bite of the pepper - it was SO hot!