Between 19 and the 22 of October 2014 we went on an expedition in a mountainous area about 70 kilometers by cityá Puquio in Peru. A place where people live like the Incas thousands of years ago. In total we traveled for about 12 starting in the morning hours from Ica and arriving in the evening. Below the photo narrated tour of this beautiful adventure.
The views along the way are breathtaking, you pass it to the famous Nazca lines and for Pampa Galera. Almost all the way to arrive is asphalted. Only the last few kilometers we struggle with the jeep (not equipped with all-wheel drive) to be able to cross the bed of a dry river full of pebbles.
In this journey takes us Don Miguel, the pope of my wife, who owns the area in which we are headed, a herd of a hundred blade.
We stop in the city of Puquio to rest and eat a succulent trout.
A Puquio we also buy coca leaves por to withstand the cold and sore altura.
Before continuing on to our final destination we stop towards Pampa Galera to prepare weapons for our security personnel in the area because not so long ago they attacked and killed two American tourists. To raise the morale of the troops Don Miguel informs us that they have found the bodies of two tourists disfigured because of wild animals!
Here Avelino Casares (The Demon of the Andes) that with his children is ready to drive away any maleintenzionato!
Along the last stretch we pass a valley covered with giant boulders forgotten by an ancient glacier melting has left many lakes to the city of Puquio.
Finally arrived at their destination at dusk we need a little bit of rice with seaweed (and sand!), an economical source of protein in place of the costly meat. For the night we have to be able to share two uncomfortable beds in four.
The next day we start immediately on the march to reach the llama breeding of Don Miguel which is a few kilometers from where we've been.
Along the way we pass near a small lagoon fed by frequent rainfall.
Arriving breeding, you will be amazed, because it seems that time has stopped in here before the Spanish invasion.
People live in this place again as millennia ago in small houses made of stone with wooden roofs and ichu, a plant the South American Andean plateau.
Inside the main house welcomes us head familia Don Jero, who did not disdain our famous pisco Ica (grappa).
In the hut his wife offers us a valuable hot tea warmed ancestral kitchen that is located in a corner of the house and it works thanks to an extraordinary eco-fuel, dung dried llama! The Andeans have brilliantly overcome the problem of lack of wood due to the height thanks to this inexhaustible raw material.
The blade in this place is respected and who raises them live in symbiosis with them. Thanks to their skin, excellent natural insulator, people can keep warm and sell every year the fine wool. The llama meat, high-protein, instead is eaten fresh or dried in the sun and manheld throughout the year thanks to the cold climate.
During this time we are in the middle of summer and you should turn from day to night shirt as often hails or snows and even three jackets manage to keep the body warm.
To the inevitable headaches due to the altitude and extreme temperature changes must necessarily drink hot drinks and chewing coca leaves, excellent vasodilator and tonic against fatigue and lack of oxygen.
Also eat garlic especially when the outside temperature drops in the evening becomes a great remedy.
After a few days the body is strengthened still getting used to endure long walks through these endless spaces solitary.
Perhaps the most difficult to accept for the rhythms of modern man is the fact that the weather in these places is crystallized and seems to never pass. The silence is total and slowly all the essence of a man expands and gives way to a solidarity that turns into a desire to talk with other people or listen to the speeches of the elderly, while it is heated all together around the hearth.
In this photo here is Don Mamerto another llama breeder who lives a few miles away.
The family system in these areas is still enough of nuclei numerous that only a few years ago reached safely a dozen children per couple.
Two days after our arrival Don Jero that is the last area of the wise and the patriarch of the family prepares the best coca leaves, fat dry blade pisco and agua ardiente to present him to Monte Susuma. He has remained the last of his family to be able to thank the Monte.
It was the only one to remember that the prosperity of his family and all their animals is linked to favorable weather conditions and the will of the great Mt..
As he begins to chew coca and drink pisco his eyes begin to charge a mischievous light that take him away from this world, and more close to that of natural wilderness that we circonde and that perhaps can really listen.
Is prepared a brazier for burning the offerings and make a prayer to Mount. Don Jero is quiet, knows that Mount Susuma is accepting the offer in fact aspires benevolently the smoke that rises directly to the top.
I try to offer a cigarette by putting it on the embers smoldering, but strangely enough, is not even touched by the flames. Just Don Jero notices it yells at me and says that this Monte do not like tobacco and flick recovers from his cigarette glowing brazier and if he smokes. Well… at least someone took advantage of my offer!
On the same day Don Jero takes us through the pampas to a lagoon incantanta. There are lagoons good and bad both lagoons have the power to heal. This lagoon is said that sometimes swallows the unwary animals that we are approaching to drink.
Here nature still does not forgive, Don's wife Jero some time ago has fallen into a crevasse while carrying to graze animals and have found only after two days (and two very cold nights!) with several bruises.
In the photos below accompanied us still recovering up to the summit of Mount Susuma giving us a great lesson in life. In areas inaccessible or so you healthy fast or die. There can be no room for the sick.
At the top the show is majestic, we decide with the brother of my wife to make a totem stones that remember our passing and offer some coca leaves to this great Mountain that was already here long before us and that will remain even after, silent guardian of our fleeting passage.
Back in the reassuring warmth of the hut women surprise us with a great plate of spaghetti with tuna. Will be hungry but these noodles, even if they were cooked maybe thirty minutes more than necessary, are delicious!
It's the last day and we wake up with a bit of sadness knowing that it is almost time to go home.
At the small village there is great agitation in fact before leaving will help us capture a blade and clean it to take it with us at home.
Here's the video of how the blade was captured by the son of Don Jero with a lasso. A scene really exciting.
It's time to sacrifice the animal captured at Monte. The blade dies falling asleep due to an ancient method of killing that is to stick a needle in the spine of the animal recidendone a lifeline.
Women prepare the fire to start cooking offal and blood still warm prepare a delicious dish that is part of the local tradition.
The grandson of Don Jero we vizziato all the time with candy and chocolate runs back and forth and in the confusion is tinged cheeks red as did the Inca warriors.
In contrast, adults in less than half hour they clean the animal that is delivered together with the skin to take it home.
It is time to say goodbye and thank these wonderful and genuine people who hosted us without expecting anything in return. We greet the family of Don Jeronimo and Don Mamerto promising to them and to ourselves that we will return again next year.
Here Mount Susuma to which we have dedicated this article.