Chocolate-filled PeruApril 6, 2017 in Peru ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C
Between jet lag, a 24-hour journey, and the altitude, we had planned a lie in today. Whilst our hotel is lovely, the walls are rather thin and someone clearly had big plans for their day having set their alarm for 5am, waking up the whole floor. Nonetheless, we emerged for breakfast about 8.30am before heading into the historic centre.
First stop, after a few navigational errors, was the Qorikancha - once the richest temple in the Inca empire. It's 'golden courtyard' was once covered in hundreds of kilos of gold before It was sacked by the Spanish. It was a beautiful enclosed courtyard with examples of Inca architecture and lots of religious art and history, some dating back to the 15th C.
The Choco Museo made for a distracting two hour detour, taking part in the beans to bars workshop. We learnt about the history of the cacao bean in Peru and the process of making chocolate, both Mayan and European, before getting messy and making our own. Mayan chocolate apparently was made of cacao, honey, chilli and blood, the latter of which Ben unwittingly volunteered to provide. Despite the picture, Ben's contribution was mericfully not actually needed...although I think he was momentarily concerned when our teacher returned with a big knife and a bigger grin! A brilliant class with our own chocolates to take away and a wonderfully knowledgable and engaging teacher. Whilst my chocolates were made of more traditional ingredients, Ben added everything on offer to his including cacao leaves, quinoa, and some powdered potato-type-thing.
We stayed for "lunch" (chocolate cake and cacao tea) at the museo, sitting on the balcony and watching a strike of construction workers at the Palacio Municipal, for which armed riot police were out in force.
The chocolates had to set for an hour before collection so we wandered to the Natural History Museum in the interim...which in reality is two rooms filled with an assortment of taxidermied animals of varying quality. It was actually an entertaining diversion for 3 Soles (75p) with weirdly preseved specimens such as a two-headed dog and conjoined baby goats.
Having collected our chocolate goodies, we returned to the hotel for brief respite, before oue meeting with our G Adventures guide at 3.30pm.Read more