A Cultural Exchange - CcaccaccolloDecember 12, 2017 in Peru
I really should've read our tour itinerary. Instead of beginning the Inca Trail straight away, we actually were booked in to visit a rural village to spend a night home-staying.
I was rooming with Louis this time. Our host mother Patricia greeted us at the parking-lot with flowers. She then carried all our bags up to her home.
The village itself mostly consisted of mud-brick houses. Facilities were basic, but better than I expected, with both running water and electricity. There was also a football pitch where we kicked a ball around with Michael (Patricia's 9 y/o son).
We were taken to do some local farming, where you bang a hoe into the ground near plants. I have no idea how this helps them grow and, frankly, we did a terrible job. The 'experience' was called off after 20 minutes as it became clear we were ruining the harvest. If they really do still farm in the traditional manner (there could well have been a tractor hiding from tourist sight), that is impressive but somewhat misguided - modern machines are far less labour intensive and do a better job.
The meals served by our host family were hearty, though both Louis and I have our reservations as to hygiene. Another spin of food-poison roulette wheel.
Next morning, we bought a woolen hat each from Patricia (she is a weaver, like most of the village women). The transaction was completed in her home, meaning she could conceal it from the rest of the village. They are supposed to share all weaving profit apparently, and this is enforced by them all supposedly selling only at their central market. The attitudes and mannerisms all felt very much like a Greek village (very 'choriatiko').
An interesting and enjoyable experience. For a night.
NOTE: We are setting off on the trail tomorrow - no internet so no posts for 4 days.
Pics: (1) Patricia, despite our objections, carrying our bags up herself; (2) All dressed up; (3) Farming lessons - not the career for us I think; (4) The hills were very steep; (5) The annual running of the sheep; (6) A sample of local cuisine (cute guinea pigs) - would you eat it Sophie?Read more