Lares Day 3 - downhill walk and great ruins

Trip Start Jan 19, 2006
Trip End Jan 19, 2007

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Monday, September 18, 2006

Up early again and after breakfast say goodbye to Enrique and the horses. He has taken a liking to our head torch so we give him it as a tip.

We then start walking down the valley following the river and along a gravel road most of the way which is very windy and pretty poor.

We see the kids running to school in their bright red outfits and hats. Can see them coming for miles. They arent allowed to be more than half an hour late or are in trouble. When they all get there they all stand in the playground and sing and chant something or other!

Valley is nice and quiet apart from the odd house or farmer and very occasional truck, which Erasnus passes us on. We go past the pumamaca ruins and our legs started to hurt. People are now more in western dress as we descend downwards but farm workers still have primitive ploughs and tools and bulls. The valley sides become steeper and steeper and we see the sites of various landslides and the odd Incan terrace.

We arrive at Ollantaytambo before lunch which is a smallish village with very steep sided cliffs surrounding it and old granary stores perched in them for some reason. Opposite them are the Incan terraces and fortress heading up the mountain by the river. Is a nice small town if touristy. We head for a 4 course lunch for 3 Soles and are tired and have aching legs when we stop.

After lunch we force ourselves to see the ruins up the hill and wander around marvelling at how the terraces and buildings were made and where the stone was from. Some of the rocks are HUGE red granite and have no idea where these are from. Below there are water channels and temples.

We then have several hours to kill before our 20.00 train to Aguas Calientes. I am pleased to finally get a train journey as have been hankering after one for ages as I realise I love travelling by train. We have also had to cancel all our previous train rides for various reasons. Am a bit too tired to appreciate it though and it is dark and very full.

Arrive about 21.30 in Agua Calientes or Machu Picchu Pueblo and get taken to our hostal which is ok. Have a bit of a row about getting up for sunrise tomorrow with our guide as he doesnt think its included but we do. Eventually sort it out and arrange to get up for 4 am. Sleep very well but not long enough!
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