Saturday, 3 November 2007


East of the Salinas Grandes is the small village of Pumamarca and the descent into the village from over 4,000 metres is absolutely spectacular. Trivia fact: Much of the landscape appears in Lord of the Rings. (so it wasn't all New Zealand)

Pumamarca itself is pretty small and the locals will try and flog their wares (llama skin, gaunaco skin, in hats, gloves, scarves etc). The local specialty is llama meat which tasted like tender beef and its really good.

When you are ascending and descending this type of altitude quickly, the locals recommend you chew cocoa leaves, so we decided to give it a try and it definitely seemed to work as we had very limited symptoms of altitude sickness. If you'd like to get a idea of cocoa leaves are like, then for the taste, try chewing some leaves from the garden and for the buzz, wash it down with an espresso (repeat as required).


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