Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Day 3: Chinchero, Ollantaytambo, and Pisac

We started off the day with breakfast at Yure's house.  The pancakes were delicious!  We then all boarded the bus and drove to Chinchero.  Here, we viewed some additional ruins.  This was one of the few places where the Spanish chose to build on top of the Inca structures rather than destroy them.
Also in Chinchero, we went to a place where they make textiles from alpaca and llama wool.  One of the women did a demonstration of how they prepare the wool and create the dyes from plants and animal products, such as the blood from bugs.

We then drove about an hour to Ollantaytambo, a town and Inca site.  Here, our guide, Daniel, described how the Incas built terraces, which are present in the mountains surrounding Ollantaytambo.  There are also several Inca building here.  Many of the houses were built to provide rest for travelers to the Cusco area.  There was also a large section devoted only to royalty and religious figures. Across the valley, it is possible to see granaries where the Incas stored food and a large human head figure, which was intentionally carved by the Incas.
We drove back to Urubamba, a town we passed through on the way to Ollantaytambo and ate lunch at Alhambra.  It was a really nice restaurant with outdoor seating and llamas, alpacas, and other animals.
After a one hour drive (during which we all had a siesta), we arrived at Pisac.  Here, we climbed the ruins and learned more about the Inca site and agricultural practices.  The Incas would use the terraces to grow produce, even at a very high elevation.  They did this by introducing things at the lower levels and then slowly raise them up, terrace by terrace.  There were also really splendid views here.  Afterwards, we went to the modern town of Pisac, where we went to the local market and bought things from the vendors.

Once we returned to Yure's house, we packed for the trek (which we start tomorrow!) and headed towards Plaza Mayor to eat dinner at Pucara.  The food was delicious!  We are heading to bed early tonight because we have to be up by 3:30 tomorrow morning!

No comments: