Sweet Maria's Home Coffee Roasting

Peru Travels 2006

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Local music trader - sure wish he was open. I love Peru '60s garage music - there's a great complation called Sons of Yma (Yma Sumac?) with bands like Los Holy's and Los Yorks (really, all trying to be like Los Beatles and Los Kinks)
Not the last Elvis reference on this trip, as you shall see.
Coliseo Internacional de Gallos - Lamas. Not just a place for chickens to hang out, but usually there's some trouble and a fight is the result.
Of course the prize money and fame sorta encourages the fighting ... it's not just "natural chicken aggression" as some might argue.
A super large chicken welcomes you...
The arena
A better view, complete with ads for the local gas station
Back on the street, a frankensteined classic Honda 90. This is a motorbike town, with very few cars, and not a lot of bicycles either. KC's father-in-law is a motorcycle mechanic nearby in Moyobamba, a fairly safe job to have in these parts.
We visited a traditional part of Lamas - notice the woman uses a head strap to bear the weight.
Again, I love doorways and these are very old, with several family names scrawled out on it.
X and O doors? Separate M and F entrances?
This shows the construction technique, somewhat like adobe on top but rammed earth into forms on the bottom. And all this endured a fairly violent earthquake.
A very traditional home...
Maria de Lourdes (standing) was with us, she and Cecilia work for Chemonix in the area, focusing on alternatives to coca production. The women she was talking to didn't really like their picture taken and I felt a little bad afterward.
Okay, what words can describe the horror at finding this at the neighborhood craft shop. Oh man ... not a pretty sight.
For lunch we went to one of these mini-resorts that is very popular in the area for Sunday afternoon - this had a pool, food, and a mini zoo. I saw my first non-native bamboo here.
I am not going to recall the names of the animals here, but all I remember is that this is NOT a Capibara. It is a smaller rodent, yet still the size of an average house cat.
A small cat, a lynx I believe. Really beautiful, sadly contained in about a 12 x 10 space.
Some very active monkeys that moved to fast to be photographed.
This guy was a real wise ass - but he seemed perfectly happy in the enclosure, and liked to make runs from side to side across the hanging bars in there...
These were some smaller Capuccins, a mother with her baby.
The Tucan was funny because he wanted to probe the camera lens but (due to his long beak) by the time he sighted it then turned his head to position his beak, it had moved and he couldn't locate it. Really strinking colors, with much of his vibrant plummage hidden under his wings and tail as he sat.
Trying to hone in on the lens from the other side.
Here's lookin' at you, babe.
This bird was a vegetarian although he resembles some sort of carrion feeder. He really wanted a taste of the camera lens.
Big eyes, small brain, I am afaid to say
They know they are the most photogenic...
And the most intelligent
And the cleanliest...
But he still took a few nibbles at the lens.
We went up to a lookout over the valley below Lamas. This area was all forest and jungle, and it really looks poor now. Coffee is as much to blame as anything: to grow Organic coffee poor farmers burn jungle, then plant. Buying Organic Peru can mean you are aiding in forest destruction as much as anything. What we are seeing here is not the case, since below is not coffee land. And at least with coffee land they save some shade trees when they burn it. You can see 2 active fires in the picture. For Yuca they burn it all.
Somebody's favorite.
Up at the lookout was a little bodega, and there I found my favorite Andean game ... Sapo! I love Sapo! I can play it for hours. I have my own Sapo table, though it is not as complicated as this one. You toss discs from about 12 feet away, with the goal of getting it in the toads mouth. It is also called Rana (Frog, Sapo means Toad).
View of the top of the table with a couple of the brass discs that did not score any points. The discs that make the holes fall to the front where you can see the scores...
If only it wasn't closed, because I needed a haircut. Cecilia said Presley was the best in town. And with that in mind, we were headed back to the airport in Tarapoto, then Lima, then Miami, the San Francisco, another fine 14 hours of flying, another 5 lbs gained eating fine Peruvian food, and some new contacts with small producers of coffee.

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It's like, the end, dude. Peru is awesome, go there.

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