So I left Canocota to take the collectivo to Chivay. In Chivay I waited in a cross for 1 hour before a collectivo left for Coporaque, haha.
Two lovely brothers who I shared ride with from Canocota.
Since I had been there before I could find the house myself from the main plaza, bu talong the way I see a young man running which I recognize, and of course it’s Jorge, the son in the house, he was out looking for me, haha. : ) He had been waiting for me ancious to go out for a walk in the area, so sweet. We went to their house, called Casa Wasi Huerta.
Coporaque was a very important town during the pre inca and inca, it was the capital of Colca. Coporaque district name comes from two words Quechua qhoto (a lot of corn) and rake (place where is dealt), meaning ”place where the corn is handed out”. It’s a quite big town compared to Canocota, I think around 1000 families live here, and they have a store, a restaurant and even a internet café in the center.
Jorge showing the way to San Antonio.
I took a warm shower at home and then Jorge took me out to the archeological site San Antonio, it’s a 20-30 minutes walk up to the mountains from their house. So funny, his mother Josefina instisted that he should bring a hat with him because of the sun, and he protested ”Nooo.. I look like a grandpa with a hat!” hahaha. He is so funny, 10 years old.
I asked him what he wants to do in the future, and he said that he wants to be an ingeneer in the mines, in Arequipa or in Lima, and bring his family there… to bad, because he could be an excellent guide! Making fun anecdotes and telling stories with a great and interesting voice. Josefina doesn’t want him to though, she wants him to take over the farm. The two sisters are not interested at all and are now living in Arequipa studying. He is the only of the siblings that’s actually interested and love to go to the farm and be with animals.
With Jorge high up in the mountains
I’m the king of the world ;) Haha. You see down there to the left, that’s the town of Coporaque
He asked me if I had any animals, or if my siblings had (my brother is the same age as he), and I think they have a bird…. And Jorge has horses, guinea pigs, dogs, cows, sheep etc… totally different way of living haha. He wants even more animals in the future, he really wants a Llama or Alpaca :)
Anyhow… he took me to the thombs of San Antonio, a pre inka place where there are mommies and skeletons there just open like that in the fot of the cliff. Very interesting!
Then on our way back we got down the other side of the hill and came back another way to the house. He really knows all the places here!
Some skeletons in San Antonio
San Antonio… houses of stone build in the foot of mountain.. where you can find old skeletons
Jorge and his dog Body looking out over the valley where they live
In the evening Oswaldo, the father, came home. He had beans with him so we started to peel them (such a process) to do our dinner. I was surprised and impressive that he (and Jorge) actually came up with what we should have for dinner, not Josefina, the women, all though she did cook it, but they helped with the preparing. They are much more modern here, they have a TV and even a DVD-player too! We spent a few hours looking at bull fighting, haha.
The process of peeling beans. 3 steps.
Dinner with the family Bernal!
At night I felt quite bad, I don’t know if it was the altitude or something… but I had bad head ache and felt like I was going to throw up if I ate somehting, so I didn’t have anything for dinner, but Josefina prepared me some mate (the) with special herbs that they picked for me. I went to bed early and next day I woke up much better.
I had a really tasty breakfast with Quinoa and then me and Jorge went out on a small excursion through the valley down to the river where there are Umaru thermal baths. Since it was Saturday he didn’t have school and Josefina was happy that I could take care of him : ) I had to say ”be careful!” sometimes, because he loves to run everywhere and have broken a couple of bones in his pasts, haha. But he really does know this valley, we walked through fields, mountains, bushes and came to the river.
On our way to the thermal baths
Found a few sheep on our way.
In the thermal baths. It was hotter in the water then outside!
View over the river with the thermal baths down there. Totally normal to pass by the neighbours who are out on their way to their farms with their donkeys.
The baths were really nice, warm, natural and of course free ;) We were there quite early in the morning, like 8-9 or something, so it was empty when we got there. Usually on weekends a lot of people goes there to take a bath so that they are clean on mondays for school.
On our way back we passed by one of their farms where they have all the cows. Josefina was there milking them, she showed me how to do it – not easy! But fun. It feels really weird. We milked around 20 litres from 3 different cows, took a couple of hours! I wasn’t was fast as Josefina either haha.
The cows were so sweet, and loving haha, one of them kept licking me – I was surprised he had such a rough tongue and so much saliva! Got all wet haha.
Josefina and some of her cows drinking water
Josefina milking the cow
Haha such a funny picture. :) Still think it’s charming when you see a finger.. haha
Walking with 20L of milk on her back in the aguayo.
On our way back Josefina took the full 20 L dunk on her back in the aguayo (the I blanket I told you about before). It’s amazing. Yeah, I’ve thought about it, that we Europeans/modern people are damn LAZY! We would never carry something that heavy for such distances, and they do it everyday.
I carried it the half way, and I’m actually surprised how “easy” it was, it really would have been 100000 times harder if I would have carried it in my hand all the way. In the main plaza a bus came to pick the milk up, they pay 90 cents per L, bring it to Lima and packages it for selling in the stores, for like 3-4 soles.
In the center of the town waiting for the milk bus
Back home I took a quick shower and packed my things, then helped Josefina preparing the lunch. She told me about her family, she is the oldest of 13 siblings! Her parents are also divorced, which is quite unusual. Her father had a lover – and everybody knew about it and it was shameful for the family, so Josefina put her foot down and said that he either goes and lives with that women or he stays with them, but nothing in between. Good done!
I was in a little bit of a hurry because my bus to Arequipa was leaving at 16, I went to town to take the collectivo from Coporaque around 15 (it only takes 20 minutes to town), but I got slightly stressed because it was almost empty, and it doesn’t leave town until it’s full… haha. But another woman was also in a hurry, so we convinced the driver to leave half empty, and good that, because we picked up like 5 people along the way who had been waiting for the collective for one hour, haha.
Anyhow…. I was sad to leave Coporaque too. I know they have a lot of different projects and volunteerthings going on there, and I’m really interested in coming back to help the community somehow. Hopefully!
So… If you want to have a great experience like me – don’t hesitate on contacting Josefina Bernal – let me know and I’ll give you her contacts!
Oh, and this from the first day when I visited them, when I tried out their traditional clothing:
With Josefina and Jorge :) I look tall! Haha
Me in the typical dress from Corporaque – beatiful!
Panorama from my room out over the town
Coporaque at night.. the moon and a few lights on the streets :)
Josefina in her chacra.
Me and Jorge on our way back from the thermal baths.
Haha. Such a funny picture. He was reaaally close.
San Antonio and my guide Jorge. He has big respect of the dead. ”Don’t touch it!!” so sweet.
View over the river
On my way to Chivay, had this three lovely girls in front of me. So sweet.
They have like 24 cuys here.. guinea pigs.. which they eat… :/
Milking the cow!
Jorge chilling and playing
Panorama over one of the chacras in Coporaque
Thermal baths in the river
The cow licked me….
With my favorite cow :)