A textile traveler’s guide – Peru & Bolivia

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A Textile Traveler’s guide Peru & Bolivia – Cynthia LeCount Samake

After my long hiatus, I’m happy to review this 150-page book packed with useful information written by my friend, Cynthia LeCount Samake. It was recently published by Thrums Books with Linda Ligon at the helm (of Interweave fame). I’ve been to both Peru and Bolivia with Cynthia many times and as I read the book, it was like taking a trip down memory lane.

Before you travel to Peru or Bolivia or both, this is a “must-have” book to review and pack in your suitcase. You can find everything from “getting there” to favorite hotels to affordable restaurant choices. Basically everything you might need to navigate both countries. It’s like having your personal travel advisor at your fingertips!

Am I keeping this book? How could I not! I feel like it’s part of my history and one that I could refer to again and again.

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Peru & Bolivia – back cover

Cynthia begins the book by telling how she began her life of travel and textiles. Then she talks about buying textiles and the fibers you can expect to find in Peru and Bolivia.

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Colorful socks hand knit from a Peruvian market

Be sure to look for colorful textiles at various markets. You’ll find newer textiles as well as vintage pieces. Most are one-of-a-kind irresistible textiles including socks, hats, woven pieces and bags.

Cynthia

Cynthia LeCount Samake

Cynthia has the “street creds” to write this book. Her many trips to both countries has made her an expert. I was so happy to see so much practical information included.

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Have a true cultural exchange!

Cynthia makes good suggestions on what to bring to give as gifts to people you’ll encounter as well as appropriate ways to give them out appropriately. Sharing your skills with others is a great way to immerse yourself into the culture. The photo on the lower right was taken on one of my trips to Peru. I was showing a knitter one of the hat I had knit.

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Chinchero dying workshop

Even if you are not a knitter or weaver, a day at the village of Chinchero dying yarn outside over an open fire is a memorable experience.

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Machu Picchu

Everyone who goes to Peru wants to visit the famous Machu Picchu. It’s an obvious choice, but you’ll find at the end of your trip it won’t be the only memorable part of your visit. Below are an amazing array of colorful hats from a market at Machu Picchu.

Bolivia

Bolivia Highlights!

I’ve spent much of the the review talking about Peru, but Bolivia is an “not-to-be-missed” experience. Shopping for textiles in La Paz is a treat. Be sure to read the information on Artesania Sorata started by American, Diane Bellomy.