Chaw time

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Our guide, Ludwig (seriously) instructs the group on the traditional method of chewing coca leaves.  5 or so leaves are wrapped around an ash ball derived from a quinoa plant.  It activates the alkaloids in the coca leaves, which has a numbing effect on the mouth.  All of the porters chew it constantly and it’s believed to allow people to work on a near constant basis.  It’s been part of Peruvian culture since before they had history.  Kayla and I declined to try it, I’m not exactly great with substances and Kayla likes having white teeth.  The rest of the group tried it; most of them spit it out almost immediately, the only one that kept it in was Sean, one of the Field Geologists that I mentioned earlier.  He had a real roughneck vibe to him and I was impressed with his fortitude.