Sampling the local 'Cuy'sine

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November 9th 2008
Published: November 19th 2008
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Day 589 (7/11/08)

We left Kayla and Jason, neither of whom was feeling well, in bed and headed out to the market to find a few bits and pieces for lunch. As we walked into the market who should we bump into but our lovely guide Roger tucking into a fruit smoothie. We joined him for a drink and so began the magical mystery tour that today was going to turn into.

Roger decided that he fancied Cuy for lunch (that´s guinea pig to you and me, a local delicacy) and asked if we wanted to come along. It's something that we´d wanted to try whilst we were here so thinking that he must know a good place in town we thought it was a great idea. He did know a good place but it wasn´t quite in town; a taxi ride and almost an hour on a local bus later we arrived in the small town of Tipon which evidently is THE place to go for Cuy. Incidentally the small town before Tipon is apparently great for pork and the town after Tipon good for duck - we never knew these places were so specialised, the joy of having a local guide!

There seemed to be several places along the main road that were serving Cuy and Roger took us to the one he thought was the best. The Cuy is stuffed with a large bunch of herbs and cooked whole in large handmade clay ovens. For 20 soles (about 4 pounds) you get a whole Cuy sat on a large plate of salad, pasta and potatoes.

For the next half hour or so we sat in happy companionship as Roger instructed us on the best way to eat our guinea pigs, even down to how to suck out the brains and find the tiny 'fox' ear bone which he insisted Mark put into his beer and drink! So what did it taste like? You´re expecting us to say chicken aren´t you? Well it does, a little, but it certainly has its own distinctive flavour.

After a great afternoon we caught the bus back into town and leaving Roger on the bus we jumped off at the handicraft market to buy a couple more souvenirs. As we walked back into town we stumbled upon a large parade around the main plaza. It seemed to be a kind of anniversary parade for local schools and the pounding drum beats, brightly coloured local costumes and swirling skirts of the dancers certainly brightened up what had become a dull and drizzly afternoon.

Day 590 (8/11/08)

After a energetic week (or so) we decided to have a relaxing day. We bumped into Roger again and he took us to his favourite juice shop for some incredible orange juice and after that we did a bit of wandering around town, sorted out some of our many pictures, watched a couple of films and had a pizza for dinner. Wow, we needed that!

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5th December 2008

Hi, its amazing reading your blog. My boyfriend and I have put our flat up for sale and are thinking of doing the same thing you guys are doing! All of your adventures and everything just sound so life changing! Good luck with the rest of your trip, your blog is really helpful on getting an insight to all the different places youve visited. Vicki

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