Tuesday Jan 28- Jan 30
Tuesday we took the boat to Iquitos, the bus to the airport, the plane to Lima, another plane to Cusco, a bus through Cusco to our fabulous hotel, Casa Andia, Private Collection. This journey took most of the day. The only unscheduled stop was Bembos Burgers, the most popular fast food store in Peru.
I also lost my innocence today. We drank coca tea and chewed the leaves as a preventive.
Dinner was exquisite with the requisite Andean harp player. This is the night that the rest of people joined trip. There appeared to be no problems until today when one of the older ( than me) women fell down stairs, fell getting on the bus and was barely responsive until the guide sent her to the local doctor. She is suffering from altitude sickness.
Our first stop today was a women’s weaving cooperative. They demonstrated the hand spinning techniques, and the natural dye. The red dye was the most amazing, it was made from a crushed bug that is a parasite on one of the cactuses. It takes one woman thirty days to make a table runner for which they charge $225 solaces or about $75 American. The woman dressed in native costumes. Each tribe has a distinguishing characteristic, this group’s was braided hair. Many purchases were made, sweaters, table runners and hats.
On the bus ride to lunch we learned about the history of land ownership in the Scared Valley. At one time all the land was owned by six families. The government bought the land and distributed it among 350 families. The large land owners were allowed to keep their houses and the reduced plot of land. We had lunch at one of the old plantation houses, Tunupa. The house has been restored and is very spectacular.
The major crops are potatoes (380 kinds), barley,quinoa, asparagus, coca and corn ( apparently) with the largest kernels in the world.
The last stop was Ollantaytambo, the best preserved of all the Inca sites and a still functioning Inca Village. I was faltering on the climb up but one of the guides stayed with me and cheered me all the way to the top. I dubbed him my hero and gifted him with beer.
What is the cure for altitude sickness! Sounds like an interesting trip but not too relaxing!
Fluids,drugs. Better to do the preventative. Diatime, coca tea, lots of fluids and stop when needed. I got screwed up the second day because I didn’t do all that. Maggie lives in Denver and she is very atheletic, she is still having some problems.