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Published: February 14th 2012
The Chocolate Factory
View through a window
Took our time over breakfast with 4 cups of coffee and one of tea.
Looked up the address of a cookery course online which we discovered was at the Chocolate Museum so took a slow walk there. Unfortunately, most people seem to only want to do the chocolate making course and not the cookery course and there are insufficient numbers for them to put on the cookery course. Have left our email address in the event that some others want to do the course and we can join in with them.....
Chocolate Museum was really interesting. It helped that all the information was in English (which is unusual for the smaller museums here!) and it explained the whole process of making chocolate from planting the trees to the end product. Peru has 10% of chocolate export to the world and is trying to increase this. There is also a chocolate making area and you can watch the chocolate process first-hand. Also a small cafe area and we had a wonderful hot chocolate with a huge jug of frothy hot milk, two small bowls of fresh melted chocolate and a separate bowl with cinammon sticks and cloves to add to
taste - not good for the diet but deliciously yummy. We may do a chocolate-making course if we can't do the cookery course. Thinking about it at any rate............
We then took a free walking tour of Cusco. This is run by someone who took the idea from Berlin where free walking tours of cities commenced. There were 5 other people (American/French 18 year olds) on the walk and the Guide asked us which direction we wanted to go. As we didn't mind, we let the others make the decision. The choice was either an Inca palace, to go and pet tame llamas or go over there and the guide pointed vaguely upwards. The others agreed that 'vaguely upwards' would be fine. Well, we are so glad we didn't do the trek... Vaguely upwards was to a white marble statue of Jesus - one of the highest points of the city and it was a long hard slog up some steep narrow streets and flights of steps. One puffed out hour later, we arrived at the top panting for breath almost directly next to where we had taken the bus up to Saskaywaman yesterday for a photo stop. The guide was a little worried about us and asked if we needed oxygen and we said that we only needed to catch our breath!! Because the other members of the group were young and thin and the guide had lived at high altitude for ever, they walked too fast for us! There was then a visit to a jewellery-making, handicraft shop where we were all given a very small cup of coca tea. The guide obviously got commission from taking us there as they wanted us to buy stuff. Nobody did and the shop organised for two taxis to take us back down to the centre again. Not the best free tour we have ever been on but got some exercise!
There were two museums left on our tourist ticket we had been given so had a wander round both of them as they were quite close by. One was the Museum of Regional History and the other some sort of modern art - not quite so interesting. By then we had been walking around 6 hours and needed to sit so made our way back to Starbucks for a frappucino. Thought about returning to our hotel but knew that if we went back there, we wouldn't be bothered to walk very far afterwards. There was an evening performance of Peruvian cultural music and dance on our tourist ticket commencing at 6.30 pm and we thought we might as well go although this sort of thing isn't really our scene. Sat around Starbucks reading our kindles until 6.00 and made our way to the show. The costumes were very colourful. Music (live band) OK but the singing is distinctly weird. Women seem to have very oddly and highly pitched voices. (Reminded Ed of Chinese singing). The auditorium was full.
After the show, passed by the main square and found a small restaurant in a street at right-angle to our street back to the hotel. Each had a barbecue burger and chips. Not very Peruvian but were too tired to look around or try anything different. Flopped into bed at 10.15 pm.
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