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My discovery of Baby Alpaca wool

 

Hello,

 

I’m Valerie and I want to tell you how I discovered baby alpaca wool.

 

Everything started from my journey to Peru together with my partner in August 2016.

 

After leaving Venice for Lima, we soon moved to Cuzco to discover the Sacred Valley of the Incas. We stopped there for a week. We were staying in Urubamba, a village 2800 meters above the sea level. From there we toured the villages of Chinchero, a special place for textile craftsmanship where I was able to admire their way of washing, dyeing everything in a natural way, and carding sheep’s and alpaca wool by hand.

 

 

Following Moray, an Inca archaeological site located on a plateau characterized by a series of concentric terraces; the salt marshes of Maras, Ollantaytambo, Pisac and the fabulous archaeological site of Sacsayhuamán, an Inca complex surrounded by dry stone walls embedded with inexplicable precision. Of course, we also spent a day discovering Machu Picchu, “one of the Seven Wonders of the modern world”, a place with a very special energy.

 

Breathtaking landscapes, wonderful people, beautiful traditions … a truly unique place!

 

 

Then by bus we left in the direction of Puno, on the shores of Lake Titicaca. We passed the highest point of our trip to the Andes, at 4.600 meters above the sea level, seeing truly incredible landscapes! Arriving in Puno, we discovered the floating islands of the Uros, a population who fled the Inca invasions and, since then, lives on these artificial islands built thanks to the “totora”, a plant that grows abundantly in Lake Titicaca and it is used in a lot of ways: from the construction of the islands to the huts; for boats, as food eating the inside part which is more tender. The bright colors of the women’s clothes are striking. Following the island of Taquile: the lake is so big that it seems to be in the middle of the sea!

 

The end is not here: we always traveled by bus towards Arequipa, a beautiful city known as La Ciudad Blanca because of the stone with which all the main buildings of the historic center were built, in 2000 declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. An architectural treasure kept in the remote southern reaches of Peru, between desolate valleys and majestic volcanic peaks. The Santa Catalina monastery is a true bijou with its bright colors!

 

It was Arequipa who introduced me to baby alpaca wool by buying my first poncho in a typical market.

 

In the mountains around, between 3500 and 5000 meters above sea level, 80% of the alpacas of South America live, for this reason Arequipa is known as the land of the alpacas.

 

Our journey then continued by taking the plane back to the north of the country in Iquitos, in the heart of the Peruvian Amazon. There are no roads that connect Iquitos with the other regions of Peru! Then we visited the floating neighborhood of Bélen and its market, this is an area with extreme poverty. An incredible place where you can taste unknown fruits, see prehistoric fish, eat turtle meat, alligator meat, larvae and who knows what else! In conclusion, an excellent place to learn about traditions and typical cuisine of the forest.

 

Then again an excursion led us to discover the indigenous tribes that populate the Amazon River, we felt lost in the beauty of the flora and fauna of these regions.

 

 

 

Further south, our journey continued on the sea, to Paracas, to discover the Ballestas islands populated by penguins and sea lions; the sand dunes and the Huacachina oasis, immersed in the Peruvian desert.

 

Finally we spent a few days in Lima to discover the city, before returning to Italy. Last stop to taste the Peruvian Gourmet gastronomy, recently declared a Heritage of the Americas, and in particular its typical ceviche accompanied by a good Pisco sour.

 

I fell in love with the richness and variety of landscapes of this beautiful country, the people, their traditions and cultures, but I could not get the beauty, softness and lightness of baby alpaca wool out of my head!

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