Friday, 28 January 2011

Arequipa 3 (roof talk)

Roof Story of Arequipa
Local roofs overlooked by the snow covered volcano, el Chachani 
I have a love/hate relationship with the roof of my apartment here in Arequipa. It is a place to achieve great things but also the seat of one or two problems. With the current rainy season one can hear (very early in the morning) and also see owners of buildings sweeping the collected water from the roof. There is some urgency in this since although one would hope that the concrete is impervious to rain it is unfortunately porous and water gathers in the ceiling and escapes in drips via the light sockets, sizzling as the circuits short out. Not good.

Yet roofs here are working spaces. Mostly they contain water tanks, large bottle like constructions that pepper the skyline. Generally houses also have some form of solar convection panels that can work well when the sun has been shining but not when it is dull. I don't have solar so we rely on shower heaters one of which has been shorting out, but that's another story!
Typical water tank and solar panel set up
Roofs are also a place for hanging out the washing, which will generally dry by lunch time, and for storing all kinds of junk. Often they can be dangerous due to the steel reinforcing rods that are often left unmindfully exposed.
My washing drying in the morning sun

Many of the local roofs are the homes of a roof residing dog population. From here they can be invoked by passers by into a state of near hysteria and the ground dogs join the chorus which takes several minutes to subside. Although they appear to be pet dogs they do not live a great life sheltering from the hot sun or the seasonal rains.

Most of all the roofs offer great viewing platforms and with clear mornings one can see the volcanoes el Misti and el Chachani, snow capped in the distance.

el Misti


Chris said...

what a breathtakingly beautiful photo Alan

Blanca Arias said...

Hello Alan,
All your news about Perú are very interesting. I like very much to read them. I don't need to tell you: Enjoy! because you do. Beautiful country. Thanks for sharing.
Blanca from Madrid.