We accompanied Lidia to visit her neice and old friends in her birthplace in the Sandia Region of Puno Province on the eastern side of the Andes. Our first stop was San Juan del Oro, famous for its award-winning shade-grown coffee.
|View from our hotel|
|Poinsettia TREE 15ft tall|
|Green coffee beans--ready to harvest in June & July|
|Mushrooms abound in the moist climate|
|Roadside trash: High heeled boots and corn husks|
We spent a night and two days in the next town east, Challuma, with Lidia's girlhood friend, Matilde. They grow oranges, coffee, mandarin oranges, coca., sugarcane, cacao (the pulp around the beans is sweet and juicy), and grapefruit.
|Matilde in her kitchen doorway. Lots of firewood here.|
|Girlhood friends Lidia and Matilde|
|The leaves cure in the sun for 2 hours|
|In the coca field|
|Miko picked 6 to1 faster than Sam and I|
Cure the coca leaves
in bare feet stir with a stick
walk on sacred ground