On to Chincerho and a visit to a weaving co-operative, which is run by a non profit NGO to ensure the native weaving techniques are passed along and to augment incomes for local farm wives.
We never buy any souvenirs (OK, we did buy the Roman Masks) but we were so enchanted with the style and grace of the weavers that we purchased a half finished wall hanging - the half finished part is important as the piece still includes the loom bars, llama femur shuttle and waist band. It's hard to describe - but the reason we wanted it was it demonstrates the incredible intricacy of the work.
You can't quite see how lovely the piece is - but this is a picture of the weaver with the piece we purchased - her son could qualify for a film cameo!
Yes we're tourists and this whole environment is set up to appeal to tourists, but you don't have to be in Highlands Peru long to realize how hard they work and how precise they are.
The weavers are so precise and fast that we can't figure out why the Peruvian government doesn't have them assembling circuit boards for Intel at three times their current daily wage. There is some form of missed opportuity here that we don't understand....but we did learn more later.
Following is our favourite picture of Raul......a great guy shown here eating part of a spectacular lunch that the weavers were cooking as part of Little Christmas
As we drove across the Sacred Valley with Raul and Angel (our driver that day as David was elsewhere) we cranked up our Dire Straits and Santana CDs and all sang like fools!