After leaving Cusco we tried our hand at a niche tourism industry….community tourism in the town of Raqchi.
With the idea of immersing ourselves deeper in the culture of the Andean civilisation, we were split up into different homestays for the duration of our time in this little town.
On our arrival we were shown to our bedrooms, I shared one with Sophie, before sitting down to a delicious traditional lunch with our host family. Starting with a spicy corn salsa, quinoa soup quickly followed. Next came the alpaca steak in a yummy marinade with corn and carrots and finally fresh fruit and coca tea to finish! We were so full that we had to retire to our rooms for a quick siesta!
Lydia, our Mama then showed us around the plaza, in the centre of the town, where we browsed the market stalls where each family sell their handmade goods; from pottery to karma sutra keyrings!
Next came out archeology lesson as we were given a tour around the Raqchi Inca ruins, including the largest Inca temple!
After a fascinating tour and insight into the history of the town and its Inca inhabitants, we headed to one of the houses to learn about the pottery industry in this area. Here we were given a demonstration of how to make the perfect Andean bowl. Each family in this town specialises in a certain piece of pottery which they then sell at the market. Whether they’re the King of mugs, plates or magic jugs, everything is covered and all our painted with amazing intricate designs!
At 7pm Grub’s Up and we returned home to our families where we were treated to another huge meal before the suprise of the evening….
Out come the traditional costumes as we all prepare ourselves for the evenings ceremony for Pachamama. The town quickly gathered at one of the houses and the ceremony began with each of us sacrificing coca leaves to Pachamama and the Apus. After many prayers, the dancing and singing began with a little two man band as we rejoiced and brought an end to a very cultural day.
After a comfy nights sleep Mama didn’t disappoint wth some fantastic quinoa crumpets for breakfast with baked potato, eggs, fruit and bread!
Unfortunately this marked our departure and after many goodbyes and with a little gift each from Mama of an Andean cross necklace, we set off towards Arequipa…