Previous Travelers!

Is YOUR group’s photo here?

Here are 75 photos of groups of previous travelers from the past twenty+ years, all the best digital shots we could find so far. See if your group is here.
Not in chronological order, sorry! Let me know if any dates are incorrect. We feel very lucky to have known all these wonderful people.

Textile tour visits renowned kente strip cloth weaver.

GHANA 2020: Susan just bought a big kente cloth from a renowned weaver on this textile tour; leader Barou Samake.

 

PERU 2019: Textile tour takes a break to admire Inka stonework at Sacsahuayman, archeological site above Cuzco.

 

BHUTAN 2019:  At a 14,000 foot pass, briefly – five of us knitting! Prayer flags flutter to bless departed family members. Tej, our excellent driver, at far left.

 

Morocco textile tour travelers with friend who makes trim for clothing.

MOROCCO 2019: Textile tour group shares a laugh with Bouchra who came to the hotel to teach us plaited trims; Fes.

 

ARGENTINA 2018: Knitters at the countryside estancia near Buenos Aires where we had a private knitting retreat and relaxing time on 200 acres.

 

BHUTAN 2020:  Hardy hikers who ascended to the famous Tiger’s Nest Monastery in Paro; other people decided to relax at the hotel for the day! Complete group below.

 

Cooking class in Bhutan hotel in Bumthang Valley.

BHUTAN 2020:  In the Bumthang hotel kitchen, we made buckwheat noodles and garlic potatoes for dinner. BTSA team’s guide Sonam at center and driver Tej on far right.

 

Lush garden by Niger River, Mali.

MALI 2011: Taking a break from painting mudcloth to crunch on fresh carrots in Papou’s riverside garden.

Previous travelers on Argentina Knitting tour with Cynthia Samake.

URUGUAY 2018   Happy knitters with big bags of yarn from the Malabrigo mill. Montevideo. I’m sure we all needed yarn….

 

Past group of knitters in Buenos Aires, knitting tour.

ARGENTINA 2016: Dressed up for the Tango Dinner and Show in Buenos Aires!

 

MOROCCO 2019: Taking a break from climbing around the Roman ruins of Volubilis, near Meknes.

 

Southern LAOS 2006: With Wat Phu Champasak in the background, UREP group relaxes before climbing to the top.

 

Ikat weavers, India.

INDIA 2018: Renowned family of master silk ikat weavers explains their complex technique of making double ikat on a slanted loom.

 

Group on steps in Chefchaouen Morocco.

MOROCCO 2018: We’re headed to a cooking class in the blue city of Chefchaouen. Great driver Abdul at right.

 

 

Cambodian cooking class group.

CAMBODIA 2018: We’re learning the basics of Cambodia cuisine while we make our delicious lunch; mangoes and sticky rice are for dessert!

 

LAOS: Textile tour travelers rest on the hike up to see spectacular Wat Phu, in the southern part of the country.

 

Archeological sites are included on most of Behind the Scenes textile tours of Turkey.

TURKEY 2005:  On the steps of ancient amphitheatre in Selcuk. Some of these loyal previous travelers have gone on many trips with us since this long-ago adventure!

 

INDIA 2015: Visiting a tea plantation and meeting the workers before a tea-tasting.

 

Group of textile tour people, India

INDIA 2018: Happy day at the salty lakes of northern Gujarat state; we had just seen a herd of wild asses!

 

Group of hikers on Turkey coast.

TURKEY 2013: Hiking trip on the woodsy Mediterranean coast with our wonderful guide Zeynep in purple and trekking guide Ozgur at left.

 

Knitting and weaving tour to the Andes. Group at hotel in Cuzco

PERU 2018: Textile Tour group with Nilda Callañaupa at center, heading out for a great natural dye workshop in Nilda’s hometown. Cuzco.

 

Group with bead artist, Cedi in Ghana

GHANA 2018: Barou and BTSA group, ready to start a bead-making workshop with Cedi, famous glass bead artist, at center.

 

Previous travelers with silk scarves made in dye workshop with Master Ali M. Katri

INDIA 2018: We just made the most beautiful tie-dyed scarves, with Master Bandhini artist and his sons.

 

group from the past Morocco textile tour

MOROCCO 2016: Argan tree with goats (above Ali’s head) who eat the nuts. The rest are made into argan oil.

 

Ghana textile tour previous travelers learn making adinkra printing ink.

GHANA 2018:  Peter shows the textile tour group how to make ink for the Adinkra printing workshop. Photo: Tour leader Barou Samake.

 

Group at Machu Picchu with Inca stones.

PERU 2009: We’ve climbed to the top of Machu Picchu and the Inca stonework is amazing!

 

Behind the Scenes group on textile tour sit on reed Urus islands in Peru.

PERU 2007   Previous travelers with Cynthia’s 2-year old god-daughter Anita. Her parents let the group participate in her first hair-cutting ceremony, and little Anita let a bunch of strangers snip at her hair! Urus Islands, Lake Titicaca.

 

group from the past in Turkey with Cynthia Samake

TURKEY 2012: BTSA textile/culture tour group among the columns of the Athena Temple, Assos-Behramkale.

 

Northeast India textile tour group rests on the steps of the Nunnery in Tawang.

NORTHEAST INDIA 2016: At Tawang Nunnery with drivers Daniel, Manoj and Nomo. Littlest nun on my lap; not visible are the dark red sheepskin boots I brought for her. Miraculously they fit her cold little feet!

 

Oaxaca Mexico textile tour group of previous travelers, at farewell dinner.

MEXICO 2010: Farewell dinner, previous travelers from our textile tour in Oaxaca; with Chloe Sayer in blue/black huipil.

 

INDIA 2009: To enter a New Delhi mosque, we donned colorful but very modest bag dresses that they have available at the entrance!

 

Group sitting on steps of old building in Bolivia.

BOLIVIA 2017  Carnival and textiles tour group. With Liz Rojas at Candelaria Hacienda outside of Tarabuco.

 

Lunch in Oaxaca Mexico

MEXICO 2010: One of the UREP research groups of previous travelers, headed to the Assumption Festival. With Chloe Sayer.

 

Group from the past, travelers to Peru in Lima

PERU 2015: We visited the little-known Museo del Andres Castillo, with its good collection of ancient artifacts, Lima.

 

TURKEY 2007:  Knitters hit the huge Yarn Market near the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul.

 

MEXICO 2013: Visiting the municipal art museum near Oaxaca city, with Chloe Sayer, far right.

 

MALI 2011: Our Tuareg friend Halis showed us around his Sahara Desert town of Timbuktu; yes, it’s real!

 

GUATEMALA 2014: Ready for the ride across Lake Atitlan to Santiago Atitlan, to see embroidered huipiles.

 

BOLIVIA 2005: My super students from University of CA Davis Summer School Abroad ‘World Textiles’ class; Tiwanaku archaeological site near LaPaz. One of my favorite groups from the past!

 

TURKEY 2008: Learning how rugs are knotted and woven – and how to judge quality – in a little carpet shop in Cappadocia.

 

PERU and BOLIVIA 2006:  Private tour ladies relaxing with our knitting at lakeside Titicaca hotel.

 

Relaxed group from the past, long ago in Thailand!

LAOS 2006:  University Research Expedition Program: Weaving group at dinner break by the Mekong River.

 

Athena Temple- Steve Chun

TURKEY 2014: Amidst the columns of Athena Temple at Assos; guide Zeynep bottom right. (Steve Chun photo)

 

Peru travel group in Lima.

PERU 2010: After a morning of seeing ancient textiles in Lima museums, we had lunch at El Bolivariano.

 

CAMBODIA 2018: Excited to be heading out to the fabulous Angkor Wat temple complexes.

 

Private tour at Tikal, Guatemala.

GUATEMALA Private tour with friends at Tikal National Park, Maya site.

 

TURKEY 2014:  At the UNESCO World Heritage site of Divrigi, beautiful and historical hospital-mosque.

 

TURKEY: Exploring Cappadocia’s eroded sandstone formations and visiting the painted cave churches.

 

MEXICO:  Waiting for the embroiderer to come back so we can see his work! Juchitan. Chloe Sayer, far left.

 

MEXICO 2010: Lunch in Teotitlan del Valle, famous rug weaving town, outside of Oaxaca.

 

TURKEY: Friends on a Textile and Cuisine Tour, at the famous and exquisite Blue Mosque in Istanbul.

 

LAOS 2009: We donated school supplies and met the teachers and girls at a rural elementary school.

 

TURKEY: We have just spent the night in a village homestay; super guide Fatih and best driver Ahmet at left!

 

Showing off our beautiful scarves! Turkey

TURKEY 2012: Showing off our hand block-printed scarves in Tokat. Many friends from Alaska on this trip.

 

INDIA 2013:  Happy with our hand-dyed and tied silk scarves made with the help of a Master Dyer!

 

ARGENTINA 2016: Knitters gather at the Estancia; fabulous cooks Rebecca and Maria on either side of Cynthia.

 

PERU 2006: UC Davis Summer School Abroad camps out in Paucartambo for the Virgin of Carmen Festival.

 

MALI 2011    Headed out to the mudcloth (bogolan fini) village, to try mud painting, with Barou Samake.

 

INDIA 2017   We’re proud of the scarves we stamped with hand-carved blocks at  friend Deepak’s studio.

 

MALI 2012  Nighttime celebration at Papou’s wedding festival in Barou’s hometown of Segou.

 

BOLIVIA 2006   At the Benito Cruz mask-maker studio before heading to Oruro for Carnival; La Paz

 

GUATEMALA 2016: Dear friend Tomasa with us at a restaurant outside of Patzun. She embroidered my huipil.

 

ARGENTINA 2016:  Taking a break on our Street Art Tour in Buenos Aires. It’s everywhere and all legal!

 

Group of women with white masks wait to tour a hat factory in Sucre.

BOLIVIA 2017: We’re here to tour the SUCRE Hat Factory, not to stage a hold-up! Masks ostensibly will protect us from flying fleece.

 

GUATEMALA 2014: Leaving the hotel for the airport, to fly to the Tikal Mayan ruins in the jungle.

 

MOROCCO 2008: Travelers at Volubilis Roman ruins; 32-day private tour. Mali and Ghana were next….

 

N.E. INDIA 2015  Ladies play dress-up in Saris at the Good-bye Party on the Brahmaputra River beach!

 

INDIA 2017   Checking out the organic cotton fields. The guide sews his own exquisite handspun cotton clothes!

 

CAMBODIA 2015  Angkor Thom – Ancient Khmer temple with strangler fig roots, and our driver, Sai.

 

GHANA 2011:  At Jamestown fishing port with school director Mark, who showed us the boat building processes.

 

ARGENTINA 2015  Happy Knitters’ group with Joji Locatelli and Alejandra Pont, and other great knitters!

 

BOLIVIA 2018: We just toured the Sucre Hat Factory.

 

PERU 2011 Visiting friends on the totora reed Urus Islands, floating in Lake Titicaca.

 

INDIA 2011: New Delhi visit to the tall brick minaret, Qu’tub Minar, a UNESCO World Heritage site, with great guide Manish.

 

Knitters in Cuzco hotel courtyard.

PERU 2008:  Knitters and two of my wonderful cousins. BTSA knitting and weaving tour group, in Cuzco hotel courtyard.

 

INDIA 2011: Showing off our hand-tied and dyed silk scarves with the master bandhini artist; Bhuj.

Textiles and Machu Picchu

Postponed to 2021. 

Knitting, Weaving, Machu Picchu, and Lord of the Earthquakes Procession in Cuzco.

(Arrive on March 28, fly home on April 8) This exciting 11-night textiles and Machu Picchu adventure goes from the superb museums and gourmet restaurants of Lima the capital city, to the Andean highland villages – with the jungles of Inca Machu Picchu, and beautiful colonial Cuzco in between!

Trip Details

Either Cynthia, or the hotel driver if after 10 pm, will meet you at the Lima airport upon arrival, on March 28. Check into the Hotel El Patio, below, for a good night’s sleep in this charming and cozy place that is overflowing with flowers and greenery, in the upscale Miraflores neighborhood.

EL PATIO-LIMA

El Patio Hotel in Miraflores, Lima.

In the morning, after breakfast in the hotel’s downstairs breakfast room, we will have a brief orientation about seeing textiles and Machu Picchu logistics. A friendly money-changer will come to the hotel lobby to change our crispy clean, new dollar bills to soles, the Peruvian currency. Cynthia will hand out currency conversion charts to use until you get used to the money exchange. The van driver will pick us up at the hotel to begin our adventure in Lima, Peru’s bustling and prosperous capital city.

Lima has world-class museums, flowery parks, interesting architecture, a fabulous crafts market, and great restaurants where we will sample typical Peruvian cuisine. We’ll spend a very full day in Lima, first seeing the wonderful ceramic and textile collections of the Rafael Larco Herrera Museum, housed in a beautiful old mansion with flowery gardens. It has just been renovated and the presentations are superb, but we still love the storage section with the floor-to-ceiling glass shelves of mostly Moche ceramics, like a huge library of pots, all carefully arranged and grouped by subject, crab pots, squash-shaped pots, llama pots, etc.

Cynthia at Machu Picchu

After lunch, we’ll go to the recently revamped Amano Museum which has one of the world’s best Andean textile collections! Our Welcome Dinner will be at one of Lima’s many excellent restaurants.

Machu Picchu LOW

Machu Picchu from the back left side.

Next day we fly over the Andes to Cuzco, and from the airport, drive to lower altitude. We’ll spend the night in a pretty hotel in Ollantaytambo, in the Sacred Valley. In the little shops and the handicraft market there, we can look for interesting textile finds or you can climb to the ruins of Ollantaytambo. Early next morning, we’ll take the train to the incredible, mystical site of Machu Picchu. The ‘Sanctuary’ site was overgrown by trees and brush but known by the local people, when American Hiram Bingham re-discovered it in 1911.

An expert local guide will accompany you as you walk around the site, and will explain the Inkas and their culture. Machu Picchu (now a National Park) and Cuzco town itself are both UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Machu Picchu is lower than Cuzco and the environment is very different. Rock cliff faces bristle with bromeliads; orchids and begonias line the sinuous road to the site. That night we’ll sleep to the roar of the Urubamba River and visit the Inka sanctuary again the next day, if you wish.

LosMarqueses CUZCO-low

Patio of our heritage hotel in Cuzco.

Our return train journey to Cuzco will be in the afternoon on the second day. Upon arriving in town, we’ll check into our historical hotel, a beautiful stone Colonial mansion built in the 17th century, and restored in 2004. The hotel is in the perfect location, on a quiet side street two blocks from the central Plaza de Armas, and close to many other historical sights.

Peru - Bolivia

Weaver picking up warp patterns with llama bone.

Cuzco was the center of the Inka Empire and you’ll see Inka stonework at every turn around the central Plaza de Armas. We’ll take it easy the first day in the altitude, walking nearby to have lunch. Then we’ll visit the good exhibition at the small museum of the Center for Traditional Textiles of Cuzco (CTTC), founded and managed by dynamic Peruvian weaver Nilda Callañaupa [English-speaking]. Cuzco is safe and easy to walk around in, mostly flat cobblestone streets, with some hilly areas. From Cuzco, we will drive to several remote Andean communities on day trips (coming back to our wonderful hotel, above, to sleep).

Sacred Valley of the Inkas with terraced hillsides.

In the villages, you’ll meet textile artists and will be welcomed to learn some new weaving or knitting techniques from these masters. One day, we will have a dye workshop in a village with the  women there. You’ll buy white alpaca yarn at the Michell Alpaca store, close to the hotel, and we’ll dye it with natural dyestuff such as cochineal, yellow flowers, green leaves, and more. (You can buy/dye as much yarn or as little as you want.) This day is market day in the village too, so you can check out the little local market, now as full of tourist souvenir textiles as local produce. We will also visit Nilda’s brother’s studio; Angel paints charming watercolors depicting various animals from local myths and legends, such as foxes and mice. These sweet and original souvenirs are for sale at his studio.

Causa, typical yellow potato cold dish with crab, peppers, avocado.

Festival of the Earthquakes!

Monday afternoon is time for the fabulous procession of the black statue of Christ on the cross. We will have good seats in a restaurant above the plaza to look down on the celebration, take photos, and to toss the symbolic red flowers onto the statue as it passes below (for blessings and luck).

Feeding some very hairy creatures!

The procession includes several priests, deacons, and perhaps a cardinal, military marching men in uniform and brass bands, city dignitaries, school children, and college students. By the end of the long celebration, the participants are all sprinkled with red flowers thrown from balconies along the route. We’ll have our Farewell Dinner in Cuzco the last night, then next morning after breakfast (April 8), we fly to Lima. You can either connect onward to home that afternoon/evening, or go to the Hotel El Patio to relax. You may want to shop in the neighborhood until time to go to the airport. We will suggest convenient flights for arrival and departure.

Typical Chinchero hand-knit cap.

 

 

 

Price:  $3650   

Single Supplement: $440 

* To sign up, click this Sign Me Up! link and follow instructions.

Included in the Textiles and Machu Picchu tour:

  • All meals, breakfast, lunch and dinner– except two lunches and one dinner on free days, when group is scattered.
  • 11 nights accommodation (March 28- April 7) in beautiful, small boutique or heritage hotels, all locally-owned, safe, and friendly. Private bath, double or twin occupancy.
  • Two interior flights (Lima to Cuzco round-trip) one hour each.
  • Day Room on April 8 until you depart for the airport which may be in the wee hours of April 9.
  • Explanations by Cynthia, on woven ancient/pre-Hispanic and contemporary knit/woven textiles.
  • Knitting workshop to learn ingenious knitting techniques; yarn provided.
  • Dye workshop with Nilda, and natural vegetal dyes, cochineal, etc. (Fiber not included; you’ll decide how many skeins you want to dye and we’ll go together to Mitchell alpaca store near hotel to buy yarn for dyeing.)
  • Peruvian Master Weaver, Nilda Callanaupa to accompany group for Andean village visit.
  • All interior transportation by private van with professional, known driver.
  • Bottled water on van rides (please bring a refillable bottle for personal use, or re-use one there).
  • Visits to typical, remote Andean highland villages to meet the textile artists; picnic lunch in a village.
  • Entrances to all museums on itinerary of Textiles and Machu Picchu tour.
  • Licensed, professional English-speaking local guide and guide tips for Machu Picchu.
  • Airport arrival and transportation on group arrival date
  • One-day Machu Picchu entrance, and shuttle to the site—(2nd day about $75 optional)
  • Andean textile expert Cynthia LeCount Samaké and a Spanish-English-speaking assistant to lead tour and accompany entire itinerary.

Cynthia and Claudia in a kiwicha field, Chinchero highlands.

Claudia dyes alpaca yarn with rock lichen. Chinchero.