The Sacred Valley of the Incas

Trip Start Apr 07, 2007
Trip End Jul 02, 2007

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Saturday, May 26, 2007

Family Torbet´s day :)

Today I took my whirl-wind tour around the Sacred Valley of the Incas; calling at Pisac, Urubamba, Ollantaytambo and Chinchero, before finally returning wearily to Cusco.
      Peruvians make such heavy-weather of driving. Upon leaving Cusco, we were assured that the 30km drive to Pisac would take "20 minutes". Sadly it seems that 7 weeks have not been sufficient to indoctrinate me with the South American method of time-keeping.
2 hours later we arrived in Pisac.
     Pisac was beautiful, however the sweat stinging my eyes after the 2km uphill hike somewhat marred my view. The Incas may have been clever, but they were down-right inconsiderate in their positioning of important temples, (I guess that might have been the point...). It´s a good job that planning permission didn´t exist 500 years ago (come to think of it, I´m not sure it exists nowadays in Peru! Even if it does, it is continually ignored.) The local authorities would have taken one look at the Incas´ plans and said:
"...So... perched precariously on the side of a mountain, surrounded by scree slopes and sheer drops... and the only access is one flight of windy, narrow stone steps?....Hmmm.... I can see this presenting a few problems for tour groups in the 21st Century, I mean, Imagine the Risk Assessment!..."
Yes. Just imagine.

I feared for my life for most of the morning. Although fear of tumbling down the mountain-side was nothing compared to how I felt when we were told that out next stop, Urubamba, was called "Valley of the Black Widows".
I am afraid to say there was quite a scene. I had to be forcefully removed from the bus. I may even have left a little damp patch on my seat. (As soon as spiders come into the equation, I can no longer be held responsible for my actions...).
        I have never been so happy to leave a place in my entire life. It will take a few days for my pulse rate to return to normal.
        On to Ollantaytambo.... more beautiful ruins, more gravity-defying steps, and finallt, Chinchero... A tiny town with one remarkable church. All the walls, ceiling and random wooden beams are covered in elaborate drawings, the altar is covered in 18k gold leaf and there is an archway adorned with solid silver tiles. That is one heck of a lot of bling.
       All in all, a great day, but I have a feeling I may need a few day to recover! Roll on bedtime!

Lots of love, Bethany xxxxx

Hola otra vez, hoy fuimos a la Valle Segrada de los Incas y fue increíble. Fuimos a Pisac, Urubamba, Ollantaytambo, Chinchero y finalmente a Cusco otra vez. ¡Un día lleno de actividades!

Las ruinas en Pisac y Ollantaytambo son algo de un mundo diferente. Ollantaytambo se llama un ´Museo viviendo´, porque existe en el siglo veintiuno como fue en los dias de los Incas. Urubamba se llama ´La valle de arañas´. Tengo mucho miedo de arañas, y por eso, Urubamba fue el parada peor...

Finalmente, Chinchero. Chinchero es un pueblo pequeño, con un inglesia famoso. Todos los paredes son pintados en colores brillantes. El altar se fabrica de Oro, y plata, ¡es muy rico!

Voy a necesitar algunos días para descansar. ¡Buenas noches!

Muchos besos, Bethany xxxxx
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