Santa Catalina Monastery

Okay wow. Been home nearly 2 months… I think it’s about time I finished up with all this! (Except this won’t even technically be the last post because I’ve got some SuNsEt GiFs I’m still working on…)

The last thing we did in Arequipa was visit the Santa Catalina Monastery, which our hotel was situated just across the street from. It had a ~$12 (40 soles) entry fee, and you were expected to use and then tip out a guide, but it was worth it. The monastery– still functional, though on a much smaller scale than when hundreds of nuns used to reside there– was like a small village in its own right, with its own streets, and gardens, and courtyards. Our guide, Ada, was pretty funny in her sometimes irreverent telling of the history of the monastery and its customs. She capped off the experience by offering us a deal on the pisco she sold on the side, but which needed to be kept on the low down because obviously that was behavior unbecoming of a monastery guide. So we winked and nodded when she offered to “direct us to an ATM” after our tour, and followed her to the courtyard of the restaurants across the street after she’d secretly procured the liquor from her locker in the monastery. We’d been meaning to get a bottle anyway, and she had one with a cool bronze label, and we actually couldn’t think of a better way to come into a bottle of pisco.

Then we got a cab from the hotel to the Arequipa airport, which offered us really fantastic views of the Misti volcano we’d caught peeks of throughout our stay.

Oh right, then we flew to Lima, where we drank minibar beer and watched Making a Murderer, then slept and got up and went to the airport and (after a three hour delay) flew to New York. When we were scheduled to get in at 9 pm it seemed like a good idea to go see our friends in New York and sleep for a few hours on a couch before heading back to the airport for our 7 am flight to DC, but when our arrival got pushed back to midnight that plan seemed less sensible. So we spent the night in JFK and it was pretty miserable. Part of it we spent at the diner there, which was allegedly 24 hour, but which claimed to be closed for the first two hours we were there. When they finally let us in the service was almost comically bad, but the booths proved more comfortable than the floor we were on previously, so it was still an upgrade. Then our flight was delayed for nearly an hour– after we’d already boarded the plane. We were so happy to finally make it home, and Mops and Poppy even brought Ollie home to us that very day!

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