I have a thing for buying furniture-esque souvenirs that will go “in my future house” whenever I travel. As soon as I landed in Peru and Michael took me to the Inca Artisanal Handicrafts market and I clapped eyes on the handwoven rugs I knew I had to have one. They are usually super bright and made out of alpaca yarn, but I wanted a more muted tone. It wouldn’t match the rug I bought from India last summer elsewise. How absolutely gorgeous are they?!
We were in Aguas Calientes and walking through the huge handicrafts market and I saw “the one.”It was perfect and a representation of the Incan calendar. Just the right combination of colors – slightly warm, but with a blue undertone that matched the India rug. And it was huge. Much bigger than all the other 3×5 rugs I’d been picking through. So I bargained with the salesgirl, got her to $220 soles (about $83 US) and ran off to the ATM to get the money. Incredibly excited, right? Especially since this rug was 4×6 and I was buying it for the same price as the other 3×5 rugs were selling for.
Of course, once I got back clutching the soles in hand, things weren’t so peachy. The salesgirl reneged on the price! She was new and apparently quoted me the price for the 3×5-sized rugs and the bigger one was supposed to be $350 soles. In a fit of pique, I left. But, when we got back to Cusco and I only had an hour to find a rug before leaving for Lima and subsequently home, I panicked. I should’ve bought that rug, even for $350 soles. It would have only been $132 US. What was I thinking?!
So I went to what I thought was the only handicraft stall selling rugs that early in the morning and bought a 3×5 rug for $220 soles. Then, I walked two feet to the next stall and realized I’d made a huge mistake. The second best rug in all of Peru was hanging on the wall in the next stall and here I was with another rug already bought and paid for.Michael saw the look on my face and groaned.
But, Prince Charming that he is, he cut a deal with the Senor of the first stall, got him to take back the rug and give me back $200 soles and bought the second rug for $200 soles. Amazing man, Michael.
So here it is. The replacement rug. The second best rug in all of Peru and the one that will be decorating some floor in my future house.I’m pretty happy with it and it matches the India rug perfectly imperfectly. And that is the ridiculously long tale of how I found a rug in Peru.