We have been taking day trips into the Andean mountains… today, on route in our journey; the taxi stopped in the middle of nowhere and went to speak to some people on the side of the road. The taxi driver was gone for awhile then came back, rolling a spare tire that he had borrowed from someone building an adobe house… that sets me up for an optimistic drive into the mountain back roads of the Sacred Valley…
The pavement far behind us, we continue gaining elevation on the steep, bumpy boulder roads, the air thick with dust and the one lane traffic winding through the mountains higher and higher until finally, there were no more mountain peaks looming above us, we were driving on the top of the mountain range….
We finally arrive at a small village -a textile community which rarely sees tourists (my kind of traveling)…The community was dressed in their traditional colours, felt hats for the women and woven beaded hats the colours of the rainbow for the men, colourful cloths to carry their bambinos (babies)…The whole community was like a big family, they weave together, about 50 or so adults…their weaving looms set up in the center of a common yard. Someone is responsible forwinding wool into thread, a section of the yard was set up for dying the lama wool various earthy colours (they use salt and men’s urine to cure or set the colour in the wool) …I will never look at another hand woven cloth the same again….
The community is more like an interdependent family… everyone helps each other, and everyone is responsible for taking care of the village elders. It is a sign of respect to great the elderly as mama and papa, as everyone elder is considered everyone’s mother and father.-Back to the textile community…baby lambs were bleating, puppies and a rooster were roaming around with the numerous small children laughing and playing…When the village stopped working to eat lunch…a large soup pot was carried out of a common room, the whole community was fed, and we were served the smoked soup also… (a clear broth withquinoa, wheat berries, some chewy meat and vegetables)… I was told it was called -in translation… old hen soup…. a rooster was hanging around the soup pot and an older lady kept chasing it away from the soup… hmmm. I wonder if the roosters’ relative ended up in the daily soup??We did get a flat tire on the bumpytravels back to the valley… glad our driver had the foresight to imagine that his thin tires would not last for the journey home.