In the village of Pongo, I ordered a common soup in Peru, Caldo de Gallina. Usually it is chicken noodle soup with a leg or thigh, sometimes an egg stirred in while cooking. Not this time. I got the real deal. I turned over the chicken back and found it filled with chicken innards. Now, I grew up on a farm, and we ate the heart, gizzard and liver of the chickens we slaughtered, but let the rest of it go to the hogs. After closer inspection I discovered a complete egg, shell and all, just ready to be laid. That was cool. I ate it, Yum.
Next to the uterus containing the fully formed egg, was a coiled mass that looked something like intestines, but was in the wrong place, up against the backbone. A quick taste revealed it to be yet more egg in formation. Quite good. Toward the neck was a yellow mass that was all yolk, also good. The soup was also good. I had no ill effects from the meal, and would eat it again. My mother would be appalled to know how much food she fed to the hogs all those years.
You’re never to old to learn something new.
It was quite a ride over the final ridge of the Andes, steep and increasingly verdant, filled with village roadside life. We knew the heat would come, and it has. We are resisting air conditioning, even though is is sometimes available, hoping to quickly adapt to the heat. We have kept the days short, trying to be done by early afternoon, when heat stress begins to take a heavy toll.
We are in Yurimaguas, the end-of-the-road in Peru. We’re down from around 4000 m to 150 m in elevation. It’s hot and humid and the last few days have been hard riding. It is a different world. Everything revolves around the river, here the Rio Huallaga, flat and brown and teeming with life. The market is filled with fresh and dried fish and bush meat.
We saw our first wild monkey yesterday, crossing the road in front of us. At first I thought it was a squirrel, but Claire clearly saw it’s round face and I noticed the downward curve to it’s tail. It was small, black and very cute.
We hope to be on a boat downriver tomorrow. A three day hammock on the deck trip. Should be interesting.