Cusco: A Visit to Chinchero.

Our trip down into the Sacred Valley also took us through the district of Chinchero, where we learned about textiles.

It was a charming little town.

We were immediately greeted by a few of the local weavers, as soon as we stopped.


This girl was spinning alpaca yarn onto a spindle.

We were taken inside a little courtyard and happened upon these...


Guinea pigs...


And alpacas...

The alpacas were there for the yarn. The guinea pigs were for food. (Yes, in South America it is common to eat guinea pig. It's actually pretty good.)

We were brought into an area and given herbal tea...


... And given a lecture on how they make the alpaca yarn and then use it.


We were given a demonstration of how the wool is washed...


And then dyed (with bugs!)...


And then spun into usable yarn.


So many beautiful colors!


And then we were shown how the various pieces are woven.


Such intricate and painstaking detail! Patience is very much a virtue in this country!

I watched as the women at the various stalls - and even some charming little girls - attempted to convince us to buy something.


I was temped to get one of these scrunchies...


But I ended up with a beautiful blanket of grey and black alpaca instead. It is so comfy.

I'm sure I'll buy more stuff before the week is over. We head to the town of Ollantaytambo today.