Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A bit more South America

When I was in the farming community, Chivay, a little old woman gave me this super intense lecture, and I have no idea what about, but I like to think about what she may have been saying to me. Everyone in this small town moved at a slow pace, but were always busy. Every woman I encountered had a baby strapped to her back with the tradition bright colored blanket. I'm not sure how any of the vendors made any money, as they were all selling the exact same thing, mostly alpaca products, and it was everywhere; I guess there are just that many travels/tourists. The bus ride to get to Chivay was really intersting, we passed I believe 5 volcanoes, saw many llamas, neburos (??), hand laid rock walls everywhere. All of the people were so short, in south america in general, but it seemed especially in the little farming communities- I felt like a giant. We went to a fantastic hot springs right outside of the city, in the canyon.

I visited the Colca Leaves Museum in La Paz, Bolivia. It was small, but interesting. The colca leaves allow more oxygen to flow to the lungs. They do not increase the lung capacity at all, however, people born at a higher altiude have a larger lung capacity. The mining and slave industry made chewing colca leaves manditory, as it was found that while it did not increase work performance, it did increase work tolerance. Miners would spend approximately 12% of their income on colca leaves, and I'm guessing that they didn't make the best wages to start off with; sad. Colca leaves were used for many products throughout the years- coca cola, toohaches, antisthetics, cocaine. The museum states that the USA makes up 5% of the population and consumes 50% of the cocaine produced in the world.

Some of the delicious things that I consumed:
Chicha Morada, a semi-sweet beverage made from purple corn (miez morada)
Granadilla, a delicious fruit that has a clearish sweet mucus with lots of soft seeds inside of it- I know it doesn't sound appetizing, but I love it!
Algarrobina, a cocktail made from the Algarrobo tree, which grows in Northern Peru (dry desert tree). It has a sweet cinnamon/cocoa like taste, and is very creamy, frothy, and yellow.

In Lima, about a week before I arrived, a replica of the Jesus statue that's in Rio was errected on the south hill of the city. There was a large controversy over the statue because it was installed by order of the President, but he did not consult with the Mayor or the city in any fashion- everyone just woke up one day and it was there. The people aslo didn't like hat it was an exact copy of the one in Rio (I personally hink that they all look the same), and that they should have made it original in some way. I was very fortunate while I was in Lima because I was only there for one day, and it was a hot sunny one; they had been having stormy weather for a very long time prior. The man running the hostel where I stayed was an older gentleman that took me for a bike ride around the city all day. We road on the boardwalk down by the beach, stopped and had a drink in old town, watched the paragliders (tons of them), ate fresh fruit snacks on the street corners, picked up dinner at a market, AND we stopped at a residential house in which a friend of his was running a little dental practice in and picked up his new false teeth :) haha. I would not get my dental work done there, but they seem a little more relaxed about certain regulations there. In the evening, it was nice outside, so we took a short walk so he could show me his pet stray neighborhood cats- he makes this strange noise, and they all come running. They feasted on our leftover chicken from dinner.
Amazon dolphins

Lima, old town
Dinosaur footprints

<><><><><>Cholitas wrestling in La Paz, Bolivia
Bike ride break in Lima


Salt flats, outside of Uyuni, Bolivia

Park of love (signafied by a statue of a couple making out)
Salt Crystals from the salt flats

The adorable little shit that ate the beads off of my hair wrap (in about 1/2 second)

Llama fetus in witches' market, La Paz, Bolivia: to bury beneath your house for good luck

Grandilla fruita

No comments:

Post a Comment