Rough Guides writer and photographer Kiki Deere shares with us some pictures of Peru from her latest research trip across the country.
“My research for the new edition of the Rough Guide to Peru took me to remote corners of the country, from the little explored Cotahuasi Canyon, one of the deepest canyons in the world, to isolated llama-herding communities in the Andes.
In small mountainous villages life hasn’t changed in centuries and pre-Spanish traditions remain very much alive. I learned about the ancient Andean tradition of making pachamanca (Quechua for “earth oven” or “earth pot”). An oven is built of stones heated with wood fire; vegetables and meat are placed underground with banana leaves and grass, covered in a mound of soil and cooked for about an hour or so.
In the Andes, night temperatures hover around 0°C, while during the day the scorching sun beats down relentlessly. Life here is hard, based on subsistence agriculture and pastoralism. Yet, it was here I met some of the country’s most hospitable people, who greeted me with open arms.
With a rich heritage of elaborate textile designs and intricate weaving techniques, the peoples of the Andes don beautiful traditional dress that explode with colours, enthusiastically celebrate local fiestas and follow traditions that can be traced back centuries.”