Kate Humble lives with shepherds in some of the most extreme environments on earth, discovering how the relationship between shepherd and flock has played a crucial role in human history.

Kate, who bought her own farm in Wales two years ago, gets to grips with an unfamiliar animal - the alpaca - living with alpaca herders in the Peruvian High Andes. Here she discovers an ancient culture at a crossroads between tradition and progress.

The Inca Empire is famous for architectural achievements, but the ancient people of the Andes were as skilled herders as they were builders, producing some of the finest textiles the world has ever seen. Kate travels to the mountains of southern Peru to live with the Incas' modern-day descendants to see if any of this heritage remains. She discovers an ancient culture based around alpaca herding, and immerses herself in everyday life - herding and shearing animals, assisting with dramatic births, spinning and weaving alpaca fibre, and feasting on roasted guinea pig. But the people here are struggling to make ends meet - lack of pasture and poor quality animals threaten this traditional way of life. Kate sets off in search of solutions, but soon learns that the whole alpaca industry is on a knife-edge. Only by re-learning the skills of their Inca ancestors can Peruvians secure the future of alpaca herding in the High Andes.

50 minutes

Last on

Sun 13 Jul 2014 09:10 GMT