Wednesday, March 5, 2008

January 31st- A Busy Day in the Sacred Valley

Erika with little girls in Pisaq Market

The Urubamba river is to the left, mountains to the right

Pisaq Market is so colorful!

The Town Center in Ollantaytambo

More Pisaq...

Peru is the birthplace of the potato!

Inca Walls

Agricultural fields in the Sacred Valley
Mountains in the mist, taken from the top of the ruins at Ollantaytambo

The city of Ollantaytambo as seen from the ruins

The mountain face directly across from the Ollantaytambo ruins. Can you see the "Face of our Fathers"?

Is this Ireland or Peru?

Corny (ha!) Carnaval Decorations in Pisaq!

Ben and Erika look like they are falling into the Sacred Valley!



Our morning started bright and early since we needed to be up and out of our rooms and in the lobby to be picked up for sight-seeing at 7:30am! (No rest for the weary.) Ben and I were so happy to have pizza last night for dinner I nearly danced to the wood fired pizza shop! We also found an internet cafe but were unable to blog due to some technical snafus. We have been able to contact our families finally to let them know we are alive, and well. Today we had a fantastic tour of the Sacred Valley. We travelled first to Pisaq site of a really cool local market and also of the ruins of agricultural terraces. The we went on to Ollantaytambo- which thus far has been my favorite part of the whole trip. The scale of Ollantaytambo is amazing. The Incas were master builders and geniuses in city planning, I think they were also the first to utilize the concept of permaculture in designing their cities and towns. They get much credit for moving earth in their building processes but in reality they often seemed to build on what was already present and in the fashion in which the Earth was naturally rendered. It is a wonderful sight to see. The town of Ollantaytambo is also quite lovely, though we didn't get to spend much time in the town walking around, most of our time was spent in the ruins.

As a side note, I have always thought of myself as being in pretty good shape, but the altitude here is stifling. Climbing the hills and walking through the ruins requires a serious amount of concentration and lots of time resting and and drinking water.

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