Sacred Vally 3rd April 12
An early breakfast in the cold morning chill of Cuzco, a cup of steaming coca tea and a full belly and we set off to explore the Valle Sagrada. The driver caressed the steep mountain curves gently as our Quechua guide described the mountainous vistas around, green and verdant at the end of the rainy season. Our first stop brought us to Pisac market. 2 young American girls missed the deadline by 12 minutes and were chastised at length whilst her white teeth gleamed through a broad smile. No one was late after that!
Next we stopped at the oldest pre-Colombian archaeological site – bigger than Machu Picchu at 5 sq/km. We climbed through the magnificent ruins – Nazma’s first! We hobbled through the narrow, cobbled lanes, broken walls and towering ramparts to cast luscious views over the lush green valley below. We also hiked the short trail to an Incan cave, a narrow passage crafted through the solid rocky mountainside.
Back on the bus we wound our way back through the mountains, the altitude taking its toll on us. Our next stop was the magnificent hillside ruins of Ollantaytanbo. We toured through here then to Chinchero, a quaint hilltop village high in the mountains. We struggled up the steep cobbled street to watch some local girls, beautifully decked out in stunning, colourful tribal clothes. They demonstrated how to mix the different indigenous plants to make dyes for the fabrics in a cozy, fire-lit shack.
Our second day began slowly with organising everything for the trek, before joining the city tour to visit Sacsayhuaman. We were too tired to do all the attractions so contented ourselves chatting with out fellow passengers and a 16 year old Art student selling hand painted post cards outside the cathedral. Another case to wrench at the heartstrings.