Sacred Valley, Peru

19 Jan

Pisac, Peru

Pisac Terraces – Peru

Our day began with a pick-up at our hostel by our tour bus at 8am. We had been told that we would be on an English tour but within minutes we realized that we had been mistakenly put on an all-Spanish tour.

At our first stop (a market) we were switched to an English tour which was awesome because we actually got to learn the history of the places we were visiting.

At the market there were a number of local kids running around and Tal and I began to take pictures of them. It was amazing how as soon as they heard the ‘click’ of the camera button they would run to see the screen of our cameras.

Before boarding the bus we met our tour guide for the day, Eddie of SAS Travel, who was very welcoming, a joker and also replaced every silence that Canadians typically fill with “um” or “uh” with “guys”.

After the first market we drove to Pisac which is an amazing archeological site  located atop a mountain with a beautiful view of the mountains and terraces. We were all trying to break in our hiking shoes before our upcoming Inca Trail trek so we were all thinking that this was the perfect opportunity. While none of us are going for the Miss or Mister Fitness Canada title we all hold a reasonable fitness level but the altitude combined with the steepness of the climb had us all questioning just a little bit how we were going to make it to Machu Piccu. Thankfully Eddie was a history buff which gave us time to catch our breath every so often.

We had some free time to climb some more and take some gorgeous photos of the terraces, the mountains, our climbing feat and even took some shots of the holes in the sides of the sides of the mountains that the Incas had used as tombs.

Once back on the bus, we stopped for lunch and visited another market. Surprisingly it wasn’t Tal or I to make the first market purchases in Peru, but instead the boys each bought 2 of the most ridiculous looking hats I have ever seen.

J.J.’s, though functional, is  chocolate brown reminiscent of something Indiana Jones would have worn, complete with a brown braided detailing and has since been nicknamed Indy. Jonny bought a brightly coloured alpaca wool tuque that covers his entire face like a balaclava – looks very V for Vendetta.

At least Jonny hasn’t worn his in public, which is more than I can say for Indy who wears it everywhere!

Then it was off to Ollantaytambo, another incredible Inca archeological site. The altitude really had us struggling for our breath again as we climbed to the top but the view and the history we learned from Eddie along the way was well worth it. Again, between the 4 of us we have another million photos.

On our way to our next stop, Eddie had us visit a local home where the woman of the house brewed homemade Chicha, a corn beer, and insisted we all give it a try. There is strawberry Chicha, sweetened for the ladies (according to Eddie) which is pretty good, reminds me of my favourite beer at the Bier Market in Toronto, Fruli. The straight up corn Chicha, not as good, but the guys seemed to like it better. Guess that’s why they have male and female versions of Chicha.

This stop also introduced us to a new drinking game. As far as I know it had no name but you stand a ways back from this 3″ or 4″ statue of a frog with it’s mouth open and try to get coins in his mouth. None of us hit the target and my guess is that this would be as equally effective as Smoke, Smoke, Fire or Flip Cup.

Our final stop was to Chincheros, and by the time we made it there, the sun was well on its way to setting which made for some amazing photos of the landscape as well as the San Pedro colonial church. This stop also included a market, and because it was the end of the day the vendors were slightly more aggressive in their attempts to sell the products of their labour before closing their stands for the day. This was especially true of children selling candy and finger puppets as they practically followed us on to our bus as we prepared to leave.

We all slept on the way back to Cusco as a 12-hour tour including 2 hikes, hot sun and the effects of the altitude took a huge toll on us. We fell into bed and slept deeply knowing we had only one restful day in Cusco before beginning our trek along the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.

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3 Responses to “Sacred Valley, Peru”

  1. The Cleggs January 19, 2012 at 19:20 #

    How do we view ur photos? Great blog! Stay safe.

  2. Kelly McNulty January 19, 2012 at 23:03 #

    Love love love! Can’t wait to see the pictures of the boys in their hats!!!

  3. Clegg January 21, 2012 at 06:49 #

    I actually had a visual of Indy and V!! Love it! Post more pics, if poss! Love and miss u!

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