In a recent post about my experience chewing coca leaves while in Peru, I mentioned how readily available these leaves are, being able to pick them up at any small grocery store for next to nothing. However, there is another way which the Peruvians like to get the full effects that these infamous leaves, and that is in their tea. In fact, the tea of just coca leaves and hot water was available either with or after every meal I ate, and in hotels lobbies, available all day. Most of all, with breakfast. Which makes sense right? What do you need first thing in the morning? Something which is going to keep you awake. So with it’s ‘magical’, again ‘non drug like’ abilities, it will keep you awake, not only because it’s early morning, but also because you are at such a high altitude all your body wants to do is sleep. Also, a cup of this with breakfast is going to help with any altitude sickness (non serious – in which case, get some tablets. I’ve seen it’s effects, and I’m glad it wasn’t me.) This is probably why at every breakfast station there is a basket of either fresh or dried leaves, and an ern of hot water. And unlike a lot of local remedies, it actually tastes really good! Plus it is the perfect thing when it’s freezing cold, which it get’s in winter at 14,000 feet!