13/04 – Andean highlands – The Mallkini Adventure

SHAKEN, NOT STIRRED

With 1 hour delay I arrived at Juliaca airport where 2 very sweet French guys were waiting for me together with our driver Moises.

All together in the cool red pick-up and ready to go.. One, two, three… prut prut prut.. and nothing. Some amused faces crossed and Moises got out the do whatever he needed to do under the hood of his car to get it started and off we went (this happened every single time when had do use the truck, and every single time sweet Moises tried to start it first in the normal way. Eventough it never started. Funny Moises). Ready for a 2 hour nap in the truck on the way to Alpacaland… Hahaha, after like 2 seconds I realized that wasn’t going to happen anytime soon. You wouldn’t believe the state the roads are in Juliaca and the way to Mallkini. Well actually in Juliaca there aren’t any roads, just some dusty bumps to wobble over. We were like Bond’s Martini: Shaken, not stirred :-D.

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Once we got out of Juliaca and we’re on the main road we saw the most beautifull views, which made the bumpy trip more bearable and worth while.
It also struck me how primitive these people are still living once you get out of the cities. We passed several ladies, dressed in authentic clothes, with 1 or 2 cows or alpaca’s on a leach. Garding them with their life. Probably the only thing of any value they have. It was like going back in time, way back, but with some modern accessories attached on the side, like bicycles and and plastic.

ROCKS AND CHINCHILLA’S

Church - road to Mallkini

After a while of driving trough the mountains we passed by a very beautiful collapsed building. The guys, who speak spanish thank god, asked Moises to pull over so we could go and check out the church. Pull over? No need, here in Peru you just drive to wherever you need to be… And so we did.
We stopped at a 400 year old church that they were rebuilding again, stone per stone.
Later Alejandro told me that this was property of Michell and the church collapsed just a few months ago. That’s why the rebuilding had started immediately. Starting to like my yarn supplier every day a bit more.
Inside the church some ravage of a left over religion and a very beautiful blue color.

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Reloaded with some fresh air and happy to see my very first wild alpaca’s we’re back in the truck. Thinking the road couldn’t get any bumpier than in Juliaca, oh boy were we wrong. Keeping in mind that a few years ago the whole road was like that I really don’t know how these people could manage. Or maybe I do, by horse, because by car it’s just crazy.

A VIEW TO REMEMBER

Beaten up like an egg, almost ready to be turned into an omelet we finally arrived at the ranch where I had a room with a magnificent view. A little me time and some delicious lunch, made by our very own private chef, and of we went to see the alpaca’s in their natural habitat.

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Driving trough this amazing landscape Moises took us to see 3 herds of Alpaca’s, oh yes wild (domesticated) alpaca. But because they are just so cute and adorable there wasn’t much wild and savage about them. Some were extremely curious but till now we haven’t succeeded in petting a wild alpaca, yet.
On on the photo’s there’s a cutie saying peekaboo. And you see numbers on their sides. This was a group with only females and their cria’s (baby alpaca’s). The mommy and the baby get the same number so the breeders know from which mother the baby comes from. This is necessary for their research and breeding program.
The last pic shows sweet Rémi, not only I adore his beautiful name but he is such a nice guy trying to get in touch with his inner alpaca here 😀
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During the 3 hour drive trough the mountains it was so silent in the car because we were all taking it in. The views, the fauna and flora, the wild but most of al the silence and presence of absolutely nothing but nature (and us in a red truck )

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Ow yes, here Quentin is holding the skull of a horse, this is not an alpaca :-D.

MIRASOL

It was getting dark when we arrived back at Mallkini, but before we went back to the ranch we stoppen at the Mirasol school. Here are some very priviliged children in a private boarding school.
Mirasol is a cooperation of Michell with some very big clients of them where they give the children from their workers the chance to a better education. Where some kids used to walk for 3 hours to get to their school, they now can stay their, have a very good education, are being raised with very honest values and learn about life. It really is a heartwarming and very beautiful project Michell is doing here.

Being in the first classroom the kids could ask us questions, translated by the director. But suddenly I felt really ill and had to go outside. The hight (4000m) and the lack of sleep the last few days were taking their toll and I was beginning to feel like hell.
Finally, back at the ranch sweet Quentin put the electric fire in my room and Moises came to bring me 2 hot-water bottles to put in my bed. With my pants, sweater, jacket and scarf on I got into bed and was still shivering. I even didn’t get up for dinner (very pitty because the cook at Mallkini is really good and he made fresh trout for dinner). But I really wa dying a little and didn’t even got the energy to get up.
I finally got some sleep and slept for almost 12h straight!

 

XOXO Chloé by k l o é

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