From Cusco to Arequipa

Cusco Travel Blog

 › entry 6 of 8 › view all entries
Today we woke up quite late comparing to prior days. Around 6.30 am we were already up packing our suitcases. At 7.30 a friend of Jimmy came to pick us up. His name is Vladimir and it seems to be that they met in a professional tourism community (http://comunidad.hosteltur.com). When he found out that we were visiting Cusco, he offered us to take us around.

First thing we did was to try a sort of juice they were selling in the streets. Its name is "Maca" and it is mixture of different components served quite hot. They say it has properties very similar to Viagra! ☺ But of course, everything based on natural components. It is not that we needed it, as we behave quite well, but it was fan trying it out! ☺ Our next stop was the market. Although we had already been there, he took us to try some kind of jelly made of cow paw. I was lucky Vladimir told me what it was when It was already in my stomach. We left the market and we started walking to an area of the city we had not visited. We went in some stores and he made us try several products, such as coca leafs.

I asked Vladimir what was the deal with Coca leafs. I have always wanted to ask someone from Peru what he thought about it and the real story behind something that has created so much corruption. The coca leaf has been in the Peruvian country since they can remember. It was used by farmers to help them work harder and to avoid feeling hungry when working the land. It has some kind of relaxing effects over your muscles so you don’t feel so tired. From their perspective life has three dimensions: Runa, which means mankind, Pachamama, which is nature, and Deidades, which is related with spirituality. Well, he was saying that having coca leafs you feel better connected with pachamama (nature). Land grows coca leafs so they can have them and feel connected to it. Most people have coca leafs regularly and they relate it more with spirituality and mysticism, than with what other countries have created with it. There is an organization that collects all coca leaf crops so it is properly used, avoiding it to enter the black markets.

Jimmy and I followed him around the area, going in and out from different places. It was so interesting, as every product he showed us had medical properties to fight many diseases. One of them was used to heal wounds and was based on some plants sap. The interesting fact is that it looked like blood!. We also passed by a poultry store and we saw how a woman decapitated a chicken and how it moved like crazy even without its head… damn! That was impressive!

Then we got into a taxi and drove to the White Christ to get the best views over Cusco. Vladimir explained the way was originally organized the city and how it grew over time. Then is when an “alpaca” showed up in the picture! ☺ I couldn’t avoid taking several photos of the animal and the woman who was taking care of it.

The plane to Arequipa was leaving at 13:50 with LAN airlines so we had to take a taxi to the airport around 12pm. The taxi from the market to the airport cost us 5 soles in a tiny yellow cab! ☺ The flight was weird as it stopped at Aeropuerto de Juliaca, dropped some people, some other joined us and then we flu to Arequipa! It was like a bus stop! ☺ When we got to the airport, we had already a guy from the Tourism Information office waiting for us. He gave us some brochures and took us to take the Hotel Shuttle. Next day we had to give a conference to 200 tourism professionals about social media marketing. Some people from the organization were already waiting for us to go for dinner. We ended up going to Plaza de Armas and from there we looked for a restaurant to grab something fast to eat. Everybody was having something light but I was starving so I ordered shrimps with potatoes. Marisol warned me that was not recommendable to eat seafood when you are 2350 meters about the sea level but I just didn’t take it seriously! Damn! I spent all night going to the bathroom! ☺ Now you know! Don’t eat seafood for dinner when visiting Arequipa!
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Cusco
photo by: Vlindeke