Sunday, August 28, 2005

Dancing den of the drunken Grandmas

Take 8 toothless grandmas, a mud hut full of guinea pigs and a huge barrel of fermented maize and you´ve got a recipe for disaster. We were in Oleyteytambo, site of the last Inca stand-off against the Spanish and it turned out to be our final stand off against some utterly plastered old ladies. All along the Sacred Valley in Peru are houses and shops with a broomstick sticking out the front covered in red plastic. This means that they are serving chicha, the drink of the Incas and which is basically fermented maize. The taste is a bit of a cross between very cheap wine, very warm beer and purple corn and is served up in a huge plastic container which both hands are needed to hold. So there we were exchanging pleasentries with a few septogenerians when we decided it was time to go and catch our train to Machu Picchu. Unfortunately our lovely old ladies had other ideas.... My hand was grabbed, the music was turned up and beforeI knew it I was doing the dance of the last Inca.... No problems here... but this was followed by another dance and another dance and my hand was being grasped so tightly that the only way to pry it loose would see me up for assault. Then it was Kate´s turn, whose previous uncontrollable laughter had now turned into uncontrollable fear.... we were seriously never going to get out of there, This crazed drunken woman was never going to let go of us no matter how much we pleaded. She couldn´t care less if our train to Machu Pichu was leaving soon. Finally after the joke was at least 40 minutes old we managed to break out and vow never to trust a group of drunken Peruvian Grandmothers ever again

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