On Friday I was telling my colleague Normand that I wanted to see plants and gardens in La Paz. Some greenish! The sandy/clay mountains around the city look great, … but there is so little green! Normand told me to go to Mallasa to the South of La Paz, about 10 kilometres away. On Saturday, after taking my breakfast, I left.
The first part of my walk was descending from 3600 to 3200 m.a.s.l. It was great to feel the green tones and colours from plants and small forests. It was great to feel the clean air on my face. Obviously I had to ask for taking a good path. People explained to me how to go, but they were always suggesting, “it is better to take a taxi or a mini-bus”. I continued my walk.
My anxiety came when I started again to climb ! I was going into a kind of desert, with high peaks and crevices, very dry and yellowish. At the top of the mountain I discovered a few flags from a group of countries and I realised that after walking for one hour and a half, I had arrived to the Valle de la Luna (the Moon Valley).
Shall I go in, or, shall I continue my walk to Mallasa? I couldn’t resist and decided to have the big tour inside the Valley. A very elegant woman, wearing her pollera and her hat, got my ticket and told me where to go. It was a marvellous experience. I started to make many different associations between the Valle and the Andes and the Aymaras and Quechuas, about the Condor and the music. So many things came together!
If you can visit Bolivia, my advice is to visit the Valley. You will realise how sand and clay, rain and many thousands of years define geology and a precious Andean landscape.
On the way out of the Valley I met the guy who was playing the flute. He told me where was Mallasa, where I could take my lunch. I kept walking!