Viva el Perú

AUGUST 28, 2023

Saturday I came to Peru and was received by the airbnb host. He carries my backpack up the many steps and I am slowly catching up with my small bag. Already then I feel that I just arrived in almost 3500 meters altitude in Cusco.

He speaks Spanish and I manage to stutter “poco espanol”. He smiles. It seems he only knows Spanish. Between his many words I catch that I will be met by his daughter.

She speaks English and shows me around the beautiful Peruvian home, where every detail is cared for. She explains and shows me how to use the gas stove and how to get hot water for the bath. On the table is a large selection of tea. She presents and introduces the coca tea in particular, which stands in a container by itself with a leaf on it. It is probably a local form of herbal tea.



I wonder if the amazing view from the airbnb website is hidden behind the curtain when she shows me to the upper floors to the mountain-sweeping magical view and offers me a cup of coca tea.

She provides local and practical tips, and when she has finished and I have drunk my tea, we get up and I look her in the eye.

“I feel lucky to live in your home”

I feel a deep sense of gratitude. Her face transforms. She gets soft and her eyes change. She is touched and I feel touched.

Coca candy


Later that day I go for a walk in the city. I eat lunch and go into small shops, where I see countless bags of candy with coca and the raw leaves. It says they are good against altitude sickness. I’m wondering if it’s a sales frenzy, but I’m now so tired and have a headache that I feel tempted to buy a bag. I eat 3 of them and sit down with a view of a church and the mountains. I’m curious about that coca and search on Google.

The coca plant can be used to extract cocaine and is banned in the Western world. I am surprised and smile. I feel a little naive and curious at the same time. Here it grows in nature and is legal. It is apparently used to benefit from the many beneficial vitamins and minerals in the coca leaves.

Focus on the breath

I walk home slowly, and when there is a few minutes to my home I look up at the many stairs. I have to sit down. I am affected by shortness of breath, severe headache and severe exhaustion. I do not remember experiencing this before. I close my eyes and focus on my breath.

After a while I become more calm and gain a little more strength and struggle up the stairs. I have to take another break before I reach the door. It’s going to be really hard to get out of Macchu Picchu when I feel like this. I’m glad I haven’t booked that trip yet.

I consider to make the coca tea and eat more of the coca candy but decide to do what my body calls for. Deep silence.

I go to bed a little just after 6 PM, when the sun has set and darkness has arrived. I don’t get out of bed until the next day at noon, when I’m on the other side and the symptoms have noticeably decreased.

Nature’s medicine & love

I am deeply fascinated by the fact that the body is so quick to adapt in such a short time when it is given peace and space. And maybe also with the help from Coca?

I will learn much more about nature’s medicine in Peru in the next months meeting with Shermans and others who specialize in nature’s gifts – some of which supposedly increase the feeling of love.

The Love Mystery

Love has has tight conditions in a time where many have busy lives, more and more experience stress, and we are bombarded with data from media and tech-giants. We can get challenged to feel the most important in life.

Anne-Kathrine Kjær Christensen has left Denmark and travels the world to follow her mission to learn more about love and how to integrate it in everyday life. She shares in a blog and works on finishing a book.


Anne-Kathrine Kjær Christensen

Melholvej 13

9220 Aalborg Ø

WhatsApp: +45 40896007


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