True touristic bus that took me over the mountains, with magnificent views of lakes with flamingos, dry desert-like highlands and pastures with lamas, alpacas and vicuñas.
The trip started early but as I was to learn, 6 am is an average morning wake-up time fro most people living here. Covered in blanket, I waved lake Titicaca goodbye and then looked forward to whatever the journey might bring.
Our first stop was lake Lagunillas in 4,444 meters above sea level. We could spot a few flamingos, but as our tour guide explained, they tend to appear mostly in winter time (July – September).
What we could see plenty on the way, were happily grazing lamas, alpacas and vicuñas. The first two are domesticated and products made of their wool can be bought all around Peru. Vicuñas on the other hand, are not tamed, running wild in this natural protected area as they wish. Once in a year, in dry season (September), the locals join together and organize a hunt to capture these animals, just to sheer their wool and then set them free again. The wool is very fine and valued a lot.
Our last stop before reaching Chivay was a view point at almost 5,000 meters, “Mirador de los Andes“. The landscape looked incredible from there! Imagine being on Mars, with reddish soil covering platoes and deep valleys and many many volcanoes around, some of them gently smoking their steam.
It is said that if you build a tower from the stones around you and make a wish, it will come true. So I did just that. 🙂
From there, it was a short downhill ride to reach a small town called Chivay. However after some time living in Yanque, Chivay seems to be the big city to get things done, from getting a telephone signal to having your backpack fixed by the only one lady that sells zippers.
The best way to get to Yanque from Chivay is taking a colectivo, a van with three rows of seats that fits 8+ people and only leaves when full.