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Having spent more time than planned in Bolivia (six weeks) we had to hot foot it back up the coast of Peru to give ourselves a month to explore Ecuador.

Though we were sad to leave Bolivia, it was great to be back in Peru and were immediately hit by how developed it seemed in comparison to Bolivia. Having been there for so long it seems we had got used to its rough edged charm.

Our journey through Peru took us to Arequipe, which is a gorgeous white walled city. Colonial and grand, it is a bigger version of Cuzco and Sucre and, as we were still recovering from the Salt Flats tour, a welcome relief. We treated ourselves to a McDonalds and Maura was persuaded into a free and impromptu dance lesson in the kitchen at our hostel.

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The absolute highlight of Arequipe was the Santa Catalina Monastery, an upper class monastery for nuns. At first it only accepted the daughters of the richest men, who lived in relative luxury and even had servants. However, the Pope got wind of the shenanigans and sent in the heavies to reform its inhabitants.

Now home to just 20 nuns, the majority of the blue and ochre walled village has been preserved and looks like this:

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