Hacienda La Florida – Tarma
I sit in the bed and lean a bit forward to get a different angle looking out of the window of our room. Outside an old couple drags large portions of some sort of grass through the farmyard. They have formed a bundle bigger than themselves, wrapped a huge cloth around it and carry it on their back. From behind you hardly see anything of the person, it seems the bundle moves on its own feet. They disappear through a large door. The bikes stand there in front of the veranda like horses used to stand in front of a saloon.
The sky is bright and blue. The dogs are dozing in the sun. The air is cool though, we are at 3000m here in Tarma.
I am glad I feel a lot better. 3 days ago I woke up in the night, not feeling well, freezing. Not the kind of freezing that you have when it is cold. The kind of freezing that comes from the inside. The kind of freezing you get when your body has changed the inner thermostat to a higher temperature. That’s what he does when he thinks a fever could do some good.
I ended up with over 39 degree fever, quickly rising. And I felt absolutely miserable. Since we had been across some areas which are malaria prone, there was the small chance I had caught this or some other nice tropical illness.
I decided to see a doctor. We called Padre Louis, a 70-year old padre from Germany that we know and who lives here for decades. Since he had a little spare time that day he offered to bring us to the hospital, where they could make a quick test for Malaria.
We had to wait for more than 5 hours to get the result. But I also got a shot to lower my fever so I quickly felt better in the hospital. We waited and could watch the life going on in that provincial hospital. It goes on a slow pace.
A Peruvian singer sings his cheesy love songs in the radio. The lady behind the desk has a pile of papers in front of her, holding a pen in her hand and from time to time even filling something in. But most of the time she is leaning back and turning her had so she can follow the game show in the TV. Once in a while one of the girls walks along the aisle and you can hear the clacking of high-healed shoes as she goes around the corner. The clacking is of a low frequency. Nothing like the hectic sounds you would hear in a European hospital.
As the padre is waiting with us all the time, we wanted to know how much longer we have to wait (they originally said something about 40 minutes). The lady at the desk was not turning her head to us or even just taking her eyes off the TV show when Christy was asking her. It would be only another 20 minutes she promised.
The padre took off eventually. He had some appointments.
I was watching the whole scene from one of 6 beds they had set up here. It is sort of the waiting room. One other person was laying there. An elderly man who is calmly resting. After a few hours one of the doctors is taking care of his injured hand and he disappears. One of the nurses prepares the bed, which means she is putting the same sheets back in order.
The sheets I am laying on have been in use already as well. Brown and red spots all over. I am too tired, feverish and ill to care about.
Finally the results come. The lady doctor had a look at them. No malaria. She wonders where the result of the urine test is that she had ordered. We realize we paid for it (and as well for a second shot) but the nurses have forgot about it. So now Christy is going to the pharmacy to get one of these neat little cups. They get their urine sample and one of the nurses disappeared with it. We were let alone with the promise it would only take 20-40 minutes for the result. Since we already waited 5 hours for the last 40-minute-promise I started to let them know that el-gringo was getting a little bit angry about it.
Finally another doctor showed up. He was more senior and started to ask me precise questions about my whereabouts. After he had a detailed knowledge of where I had been for how long he assured me, that Dengue and a couple of other possible candidates of tropical diseases would not be a possible reason for my high fever. That sounded very professional so we gladly returned to the hotel.
So here I sit. In the nice little hotel. In our nice little room. Getting slowly better as the fever lowers a little bit every day.
It is not a typical hotel we are in. It is an old hacienda that rents rooms. The Hacienda has a long an interesting history. A well known Peruvian author wrote a nice little novel about it (Silvio in the rose garden).
It is run by Pepe, the owner, and his wife Inge, a German lady that fell in love with the Andes and then with Pepe some 30 years ago. She is a very caring, very open and warm person. Every day she comes to see how I am doing. In the evening she prepares a special soup for me, all with all kind of super fresh vegetables from her huge garden. That garden (el jardin) plays a large roll in the novel about the hacienda. And as I am sitting there in my bed, getting slowly better I decide it would be time to get up and have a look around. Christy joins me for a stroll around the hacienda.
A double storied and u-shaped main building is creating a yard of approximately 20x20m. The buildings are painted in a light blue.
In the yard there are some old motorbikes (the most actual one a KLR650 from their son who traveled South America with it). An old Land Rover, a classic Ford, and a first generation Unimog are standing around. The open side of the u-shaped main building is closed by a wall, a shed and a little chapel. The wall contains a huge gate that leads to the fields of the hacienda which spread along the valley.
A little door in one corner of the main building has a wooden sign above it: “El Jardin” it says. It leads to a nice and full garden with lots of different flowers and plants. A huge 200 year old cypress marks one corner of the garden. Behind it a little meadow for the horse spreads. It is also the campground for guests who want to pitch their tent. Next to it a huge herb and vegetable garden allows Inge to create her nice meals. There are also stables for a couple of cows.
A young german studies the chances for the farmers in the valley as part of his degree in socioeconomics and a young girl is spending her last 2 weeks of her work and travel time here on the hacienda.
The whole place is very calm. Tranquilo as the Peruvian would say.
I am very happy I got sick at a place like this and not in a loud and chaotic city. And I am almost a little bit glad I got sick at all. Otherwise we wouldn’t have got to know that little place here so well.