Saturday, 25 June 2016

What makes Peru unique?

Peru, South America.
Would you eat a guinea pig?

In many parts of South America, especially Peru, they are considered a delicacy. I’m not sure if I’d eat a rodent, especially since my son had one for a pet when he was a boy. Docile, nervous little creatures, they’re kind of cute. They are called cuyes in Peru. They can be deep fried or grilled, usually split down the middle like a lobster tail, cooked whole. But if you don’t find that appealing, there are other unique foods from Peru.

You could try Anticuchos – Quechan for cut stew meat –  marinated in vinegar and spices is a common food amongst street vendors skewered over a grill, mostly made from beef heart.

Or Ceviche – a popular seafood dish. Raw fish cured in citrus juice, usually lemon or lime, and spiced with aji or chili peppers.

Or Pachamanca – from Quechan pacha “earth” manca “pot” – a traditional dish made by baking meats marinated in spices. 

There’s more to Peru than odd dishes.  It is the setting for my newest novel – Wall of War – which will be published in late 2016. Why Peru? I have always been fascinated by the Incan civilization. When I read about Machu Picchu (which is a whole other topic that could be discussed in depth) it led me to discover more of this unique country. In my previous Drake Alexander novel – Dark Side of a Promise – there is a Peruvian family that is an important detail to the novel. This same family is involved in Wall of War and one member is in serious trouble as a result of lost Incan gold.  
In Pre Columbian Peru, the earliest complex civilization in South America and quite possibly the world, was the Norte Chico Civilization which prospered along the Pacific Ocean between 3000 and 1800 BC. The Incan Empire was the largest state in South America until it was destroyed by the Spanish in the early 1500’s.


Peru has many ruins and incredible displays of Incan masonry with rocks fitting so perfect using only sand and water. This example of the famous twelve sided stone shows the incredible workmanship. 

The Amazon River originates in the Andes and is one of the world’s most fascinating bodies of water. The world's largest drainage basin which accounts for 20% of the Earth's total river flow discharging as much as 6591 cubic kilometers per annum. 

Lake Titicaca in southern Peru is the highest navigable lake in the world and is the largest in South America.

Peru is the 6th largest producer of gold in the world

Peru has one of the largest population of shamans, second only to India.

The potato originated in Peru and the country has over 50 varieties.

Pima and Tanguis cotton are Peruvian and said to be the finest in the world.

The National University of San Marcos is the oldest in South America and was founded in May of 1522.

Cotahuasi Canyon is 11,597 feet deep, twice as much as the Grand Canyon and is the deepest in the world.

The Inca citadel, Machu Picchu was lost in the Amazon jungle for centuries until it was discovered in the early 20th century by American explored Hiram Bingham.

Peru has 1625 varieties of orchids of which 425 can be found growing naturally close to Machu Picchu.

Peru is home to 90 different micro climates and is the most diverse in the world from arid deserts to lush rainforests.

The city of Iquitos is the largest city inaccessible by road. To visit the city you must either fly in or arrive by boat. IT experienced a unprecedented growth in the population between 1880 and 1914 due to the "rubber boom". Gustav Eiffel - designer of the Eiffel Tower - designed the Casa de Fierro (Iron House). Built in the 19th century, it still stands.


It has the highest sand dune as well as the longest left hand wave in the world. 


How about the geoglyphs or Nazca lines in the desert of southern Peru. Images of animals, birds and insects, some as much as 600 feet across. Scholars believe the lines were etched in the desert between 500 BC to 500 AD. They still exist and are visible from the surrounding foothills.


This amazing country has many unique features and ancient history. While doing research for my novel, it has been a pleasure to learn about Peru.

Watch here for more updates on the Wall of War.

Please drop by next week for an excerpt from Susan Toy's newest novel. It will be Susan's fourth visit to the Scribbler.
The winners of the two copies of Dark Side of a Promise are;
Carole Lirette of Moncton, NB
Hailie Anderson of Halifax NS.
Thank you to all who participated.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much, Allan, for allowing me to visit South Branch Scribbler again! You are a very congenial and accommodating host! Always a pleasure. And don't forget that you and your readers are welcome to visit Reading Recommendations ... Here's one of Allan's promotions there:



Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment.