Is nothing Sacred?
Before we left Cusco we spent the day in the company of Leo, a slightly eccentric guide as he took us on our postponed tour of the Sacred Valley of the Inca's (or, as he pointed out rather forcefully several times, the Qechuas, as the only Inca was the king).
We'd hired the services of Leo and a taxi for the day and the first stop was Pisac. The ruins we're really impressive. The quality of the masonry was astonishing and Leo's running commentary was loud and constant. It turned out that he'd trained as a doctor, wasn't too impressed by his first sight of a live person's insides and became an anthropologist instead. He certainly had great knowledge and a passion for his chosen field.
After visiting the market in Pisac town where we loaded up on tat (or artifacts as Alex likes to call them) we continued up the valley to Calca and a drawn out lunch which culminated in the taxi driver doing a runner with our bags! Or so we thought, paranoia was taking hold again and he soon reappeared to drive us to Ollyantytambo.
The ruins in Ollyantytambo were the most impressive yet, the stonework amazing and the fact that alot of the stone was been transported from a mountainside 6kms away was unbelievable.
By this time it was pretty dark and we still had one site to visit, Chinchero. The town is located on a plateau, high above the valley floor. It's remarkable for both it's Inka riuns and the Spanish style church whose ceiling and most of the walls are covered in naive frescos.
After a brief visit, we made our way back to Cusco, cowering in fear in the back of the taxi as the driver overtook on blind rises, round bends and generally made best possible use of both sides of the road, totally oblivious to what might be coming the other way!
Back in Cusco, we bid farewell to Leo and beat a hasty retreat to the hotel to calm our shattered nerves!