4.4.12

Your gin and tonic, Peru and the Spanish village of Chinchón

What on earth is he talking about? I hear you say as you read the title of this post.
Well. its simple really. Your Gin and Tonic has tonic water; tonic water has quinine; quinine is extracted from the bark of the cinchona tree and was used for medicinal purposes by the Incas of Peru; in 1629 the Count of Chinchón is appointed as Viceroy of Peru by the Spanish King; on arrival at Lima, the wife of the Count of Chinchón became very ill with high fever and was cured by taking extract from the bark of the cinchona tree. In fact, Cinchona, the generic name of the plant, is derived from "Countess of Chinchón". All very simple!
The main attractions of the village of Chinchón, which is 45 Kms. south of Madrid, are its very lively main square, Plaza Mayor, where the funny bullfighting scene with Cantinflas from Around the World in Eighty Days was filmed, and the Church of Nuestra Señora de la Asunción that has a painting by Goya.
For lunch (and a Gin and Tonic if that is your poison) I can recommend the Parador of Chinchónhoused in a 17th Century convent. You may also wish to try the local anisette, which is known as "Chinchón".

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