Wednesday, 10 September 2014

The perfumed bed

Tello and his explorers were hardened travelers. The expeditions took them all over Peru´s remote deserts, mountains and jungles where, come nightfall, they were more often than not dependent on the generosity of locals for lodgings.  And as you may suspect, beggars can’t be choosers. In this story Hernan tells us about one particular bed that the archaeologist never forgot.

Guaman Poma de Ayala - The Author Travels

The perfumed bed
In which it is confirmed that some resting places are definitely more desirable than others

Travelling through the small towns and villages of Peru is something of an adventure. One day we could be staying in a comfortable hotel, but the next we would be in a second rate hostel, the next in a hovel or even in a cave.  And let me tell you a cave was preferable to some of the hotels we have seen. Tello was always meticulous in his personal hygiene, but you can imagine the myriad variety of beds in which he had slept, and the countless bugs and odours to which he had been exposed.

Once, for example, when he arrived at a small coastal town, an excellent room was made available for him complete with a bed made up with impeccable white linen. Unfortunately he was forced to vacate it only a short while after he had slipped between the beautiful snowy sheets, because a whole legion of insects had begun a stealthy advance up his body. Happily he had with him his riding kit, and he was able to stretch out his saddle blanket on the floor and lay down to sleep there, having first surrounded himself with lit candles to keep the bugs at bay. Of all these experiences, there was one that Tello never forgot. His night in the perfumed bed.