It Feels Like Independence Day and I Can’t Break Away From This Parade

Yesterday was quite a day. In the morning my new friend Saskia and I went in search of a big parade that was taking place for Peru’s Independence Day. We found the parade route and tons of people lined up, but nothing was happening yet. We were told the parade began around 9, and it was around ten at this point. Rule number one for visiting Peru…Never believe a Peruvian when they say what time something will start…or end. We waited, and waited, and waited. The parade finally got going around 11. There were tons of people marching of all ages. There was a big crowd and many people in front of me, but I caught some of the action.

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I also enjoyed watching the crowd.

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Next it was off to my new favorite street in Arequipa. It’s really kind of a short cut from one big street to another. It has tons of outdoor seating and balconies that look towards the cathedral. We had lunch on one of balconies and soaked up some sun.

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Then it was back to Casa de Avila for my final Spanish class with my great teacher Cecilia. Class takes place in the garden, where there is a resident tortoise. Yesterday the tortoise would not leave me alone! He kept cuddling next to my foot, trying to eat my shoe, and stepping on me. It was super cute.

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When class was over Saskia and I went over to buy tickets for a violin and piano concert at the Monastery of Santa Catalina. They told us it started at 7:30 and ended around 8:30 or 9. So we went in the concert area and it was really beautiful, as was the music, but of course it started late. Around 8:30 we started looking at our watches and thinking we were fine on time. We had dinner reservations at Chi Cha, the same place I ate my last night in Cusco, for 9:30. They finished the performance at 9:20, so we were good to go, but then, no. Encore! Encore ended at 9:30. We were set to leave then they announced a second Encore in honor of Peruvian Independence. Well, this time we busted our of there before the second encore began! I told you, never believe Peruvians about time.

We made it just in time for our reservation and it was delicious! Ceviche, risotto, chocolate mousse, Pisco Sour, what’s not to love?

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On our walk home we heard things going on in the plaza so we went over to check it out. It was the one and only “Miss Arequipa” pageant and we arrived just in time to hear the winners! Saskia kept saying who they would announce next before they announced it and she was always right! Was this thing rigged?? Then, as we were walking home we caught the fireworks show!

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Parades, concerts, fireworks, yes, quite a day.

Love,

Julie

“One Headlight” -The Wallflowers

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