A twenty minute drive outside of Urubamba lays the community of Media Luna . The main reason I found myself in Urubmaba was the tourism circuit offered by the Media Luna community. It boasted a hike to salt fields, and classes on local medicinal plants, weaving, guinea pigs, and chicha (a corn based drink). I am incredibly thankful I stumbled upon this opportunity. The morning of my scheduled tour I took a mototaxi (a Peruvian tuk tuk!!) from my hotel to….. Actually I want quite sure where I was going. I’m not sure the driver knew either; in fact I now know that he didn’t.
I was incredibly lucky to have such a kind driver. Even though he didn’t really know where he was going he went above and beyond to help my find my destination. He repeatedly got out of the tuk tuk and asked for directions. Multiple time he thought we had arrived, however when we learned we still had more to go he helped me back into the tuk tuk ( no easy feat these days– because of my bags…….). When we finally did arrive he triple checked and then asked the gentleman to take my bags.
The mans reaction to my drivers statement was hilarious.
My driver ” toma las bolsas de ella” (take the ladies bags)
After a look of confused laced with a bit of defiance,
Man: “Porque” (why)
Mine you, this gentleman looks as thought he is in his mid seventies. It was so funny to to watch the interaction between the two men ( I think I deserve a metal for not laughing). The driver got irritated with the gentleman but it was obvious the gentleman didn’t really care which pissed the drive off even more.
Once all was settled we began the day with a walk to the salt fields. After the hot but gorgeous walk up and down the valley I went on my workshops. They were amazing!
I learned so much in the span of three hours. I learned about the different common medicinal plants, how to use them, and what to use them for. Then I learned all about theprocess of naturally dying yarn. A woman showed me the plants, the corresponding colors, and got to actually watch the process. After showing me the dying process she showed me the weaving process even letting me sit on the loom and do some work! It was a really cool experience. I then went and learned about cuyes (quinea pigs) , and chicha before eating a local, natural meal.
Over lunch I had some really fun conversations south the people who had given me the workshops. We talked about local sourcing, natural processing and cooking, and planes. They were amazing at my corn description (most of the corn they had here has HUGE kernels, they couldn’t believe the size of the kernels I described).
In conclusion, I had a wonderful time. I learned a lot and the people were amazing.