“I,” said the Donkey, shaggy and brown,
“I carried His mother up hill and down;
I carried His mother to Bethlehem town.”
“I,” said the Donkey, shaggy and brown.
— The Friendly Beasts, Christmas Carol
As Christmas gets closer and closer, I’ve started to see countless nativity scenes (“El nacimiento”) pop up around South America. But, since I’m a bit out of the Christmas element this year, the friendly beasts of the dioramas are actually reminding me of one of my favourite Inca Trail moments.
I shot this photo at Wayllabamba, my first-night stop on the Inca Trail. We shared the campsite with a donkey, dog, and a few loose chickens and pigs. This building was next to the cooking area for the porters on our trek. The lady who lived here ran a tiny shop (pictured on the left), but it was the other room that caught my attention.
When I peeked through the door on the right, I saw a bed, and about twenty guinea pigs (cuy) scurrying around the floor. This week’s dinner. Have I mentioned that I’ve tried said Peruvian delicacy? Roasted and eaten whole. Not my cup of tea, to say the least.