'Idle No More' demonstration wraps up time in Cusco

When I last left off, I was talking about how we had just returned to Cusco from Pisac.

Between the fact that my altitude sickness had subsided at a lower height and the beauty of the valley, I was sad to leave Pisac so soon. We returned so that Percy could speak during a government meeting debating introducing GMOs - genetically modified organisms - and during the conference, my mother, siblings and I went to lunch.

We dined at Trattoria Adriano - located near the Plaza de Armas - and though it may seem a little odd to have Italian food in Peru, the food was simple but perfect for a light, pre-demonstration lunch.

We had a plate of avocado and tomatoes as an appetizer before our two pizzas - one with ham and the other a Neapolitan with tomato slices. The pizzas came on thin crusts and had a light layer of tomato sauce.

When we went back to meet up with the rest of our group at the conference, we set out for a short demonstration against GMOs in the streets of Cusco. We marched to the beat of traditional, Indigenous drummers from the area, along with the occasional interjection of the blow of a shell.

The signs that our family carried included one saying "Idle No More - Cusco, Peru" and "Lucha por los derechos indígenas en todo el mundo" (fighting for the rights of indigenous people around the world).

Tonight's dinner was spent at Jack's Cafe - located close to our hotel at Calle Choquechaca #509. A simple restaurant, their sandwiches come at a great price and are quite filling.

A roasted tomato, pesto and cheese panini (s/. 13.50) with a side salad (s/. 5) was my meal choice, along with a pot of ginger, honey and lime tea (s/. 6). My sister Lavina had a mint lemonade that was balanced well on the sweet to sour scale, and the mint gave a green color and flavor that seem odd in theory, but in practice is a great change to ordinary lemonades.

The food was great and it's proximity to our hotel made it an ideal spot for dinner. Lavina, Mitchell, my mother and I then went to a nearby market where I got a multicolored, woven scarf. Mitchell got a fake guinea pig toy, which he warned me not to eat since I had eaten cuy in Lima.

My mother bought a coca liquor in an incredibly inappropriate bottle. The ceramic bottle is shaped like a male fertility idol, with a certain body part that has been rather built out of proportion in size to the rest of its body. The liquor has a flavor similar to a very light, unaged tequila, but with a slight flavor of coca leaves in the background.

On our way back to the hotel, we returned to Jack's Cafe to pick up a couple of coconut brownies. These dense, round fudgey cakes were topped with a thick layer of hardened chocolate and a single almond. Incredible as they were, I found it difficult to finish one....in fact, they were so rich that I couldn't even finish half of one.

Being the chocoholic that I am, I was slightly disappointed in myself. Perhaps the altitude is altering my eating habits?

Walking through the rain during the Idle No More demonstration in Cusco, Peru. Photo Credit: Lorraine C. Gray

My little sister Lavina Gray (age 10) and mother Lorraine C. Gray during the Idle No More demonstration in Cusco, Peru. Photo Credit: Lauren J. Mapp

My brother Mitchell Gray (age 8), sister Lavina Gray (age 10) and mother Lorraine C. Gray during the Idle No More demonstration in Cusco, Peru. Photo Credit: Lauren J. Mapp


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