Tuesday, July 22, 2008


I generally stay away from tours. As much as is possible, I take a bus to the place I want to visit and take my time. Chances are that I'll likely have done some reading about the place beforehand to get at least a minimal grounding in what I'm looking at, sitting on, walking through. I've had some pretty boring or just plain bad tours in the past where all I really want to do is go at my own pace. I don't want to hear the guide repeatedly reassure the group that the citizens of Cusco are not gay despite their city's rainbow flag. I don't want to hear Ferris Beuller's history teacher read me the fast fact boxes for three grueling hours. So I go on my own when I can.

But there are no buses to Zinacantan. I signed up for a tour in what was the most visually appealing office with people who smiled and answered my questions patiently. What was so cool about this tour was that the visit to the town involved going to a family's home and sitting in their packed dirt floor kitchen on little chairs (think pre-school size) and eating tortillas and beans and cheese and salsa before topping it all off with some of the regional home brew liquor while our guide told us about the place and family.

This is a kitchen shot. The tortilla production continued while we were there. I effing love tortillas.

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