The use of Coca leaves is common in many countries of South America, especially in the Andes. It is chewed in Peru, Chile, Bolivia … rarely, but even in Argentina. although it is officially forbidden to import to some countries. It is believed that Coca leaves tone up, have a restorative effect, and reduce the symptoms of mountain sickness. But most importantly, it’s just a tradition. “And our great-grandfather chewed Coca, and my grandfather and I also chew Coca” » — as if says the calm look of the native.
In Bolivia, Coca has the highest distribution. There are popular Souvenirs from this plant, sweets, tea, local people carry leaves everywhere in small bags tied to their belts. First, in Bolivia, the cultivation and sale of Coca is officially allowed. Secondly, Bolivia has many cities in the mountains, and this plant is very suitable for the mountain climate. Third, we think that Bolivia is, in principle, the most original country and traditions are preserved here as nowhere else.
Therefore, if you are interested in seeing live how this plant grows, you can come to Chulumani, which is not far from La Paz.
We have already described the bus schedule from La Paz to Chulumani in the article «from La Paz on the road of death».
You can visit the Coca valley one day or stay longer. To travel around the neighboring mountain villages. Buses run from morning to evening.
The city of Chulumani is small and there is nothing to see there except landscapes and nature.
On the theory of Coca in these parts grows everywhere and from afar you can see neat rows and green spaces. But we wanted more-to look closer, and we went to look for it around.
We reached the city stadium (Estadium de Chulumani)and went down the road to the left of it (if you stand facing the stadium). About a kilometer later, we came across fields with Coca.
On the way, we met men who were carrying huge sacks of Coca.
In the sale of one package is worth 50BOB.
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