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‘A lovely little ‘hostal’ in Arequipa, Peru’ by K.J.S.Chatrath

I reached Lima, Peru at about 9.30 am after a long flight. The programme, as I understood, was to stay for the night there and next morning leave for Arequipa by air with the Group. At the airport I was received by the charming Tour Director Ms. Nila Soto. On our way to the hotel she advised me to freshen up at the hotel quickly as the flight to Arequipa was at 1.30 pm. But that is tomorrow I said. No, she said it is today. Well I realised that I had not kept pace with the change of date while on various flights from India to Peru.

p1220970-420-b-80-jpgArrival at the Arequipa airport situated at around 7,000 ft above sea level.

A little later the Group was all at the airport at the appointed time and we took the flight which lasted about an hour and a half. When we reached Arequipa  Nila informed us that we would go to the Hostal where we are booked, get some rest and then start the local sight seeing. When we were getting down from the minibus at the Hostal we were disppointed to see the exterior of the Hostal La Casa De Melgar. As it is Hostal means something less than a hotel and we were not very happy. Our super efficient Tour Director Nila sensed that and told us not to be fooled by the exterior, get inside and you would see how pretty it is’, she advised us.

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She was so very right. It was not a ‘hostal’ but a hotel.  It was a lovely old Casa built in the architectural style  of the 18th century- thick walls, curved ceiling, three patios, open hallways and gardens. The style also blends the Spanish and native elements.

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We all were really charmed by the small little hostal. We were told that this was the house of Manuel Segundo Ballón, Bishop of Arequipa at the end of the 19th century. He organized the most important expedition to “El Misti” volcano, to erect the cross on the highest point of the summit. The Bishop transported the rails on mules which were prepared by the railroad workers. The expedition received the new century by celebrating Mass on the small altar next to the cross on January 1, 1900.

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The hostal has promoted the works and thought of the patriot and poet Mariano Melgar, who devoted his life to achieving Peruvian independence. As a poet, Melgar became one of the most prominent romantic poets of Peru in the 19th century. It is believe that he lived in this house temporarily and hence the Hostal is named Melgar.

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Direction pointing out the breakfast tables.

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On way to the breakfast tables.

arequipa hostal 425 80Simple but pretty and airy space for breakfast and coffee. (Source of this photo only- the website of the Hostal)

(Text with inputs from the internet and Hostal’s website)

Readers might like to see my earlier photo article on Arequipa, Off the beaten track for the Fiftyplus – Arequipa, Peru” by clicking at the following link. http://www.fiftyplustravels.com/?p=1066

Photos & copyright K.J.S.Chatrath.

IMPORTANT: This website does not sell any hotel rooms/air tickets/packages/insurance cover etc.  It is intended only for providing information to the Fifty+/younger travellers and sharing of travel experiences. The above information is being shared only for the convenience of the readers who are advised to double check the information and satisfy themselves before taking any decision.

Would you like to take a look at my other website-   www.gravematters.in 

These photographs are also available without watermark and in high resolution. Please contact chatrath@gmail.com.

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