Through the Sacred Valley

Trip Start Jun 25, 2009
Trip End Jul 05, 2009

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Flag of Peru  , Sacred Valley,
Sunday, June 28, 2009

To make our way to Machu Picchu, we consulted with a tourist office across the street from our Cusco hostel about transportation.  With a lot of broken Espanol on my part and broken English on the tourist operator on his part, we nailed down a plan...  at least that's what I thought we did.  I should've paid more attention to my Spanish classes in high school.

The plan was to take a tourist bus that would whisk us through Pisac, Calca, Urubamba, and drop us off at Ollantaytambo (try saying that last city name five times fast...  you'll hurt your tongue), basically through the Sacred Valley of Peru.  The rest of the people on the tourist bus would make a U-ee and head back to Cusco.

The Sacred Valley is a fertile gourge nestled in the southern part of Peru.  When you get to the valley itself, it's quite a contrast to the brown surrounding area.  It's lush, green, and has the beautiful Rio Urubamba running through it.  For more info, google and wiki.

Pisac has a market that's held on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays.  It's supposed to be a huge shindig wherein the locals head down to Pisac and sell their wares.  According to my Moon guidebook, it's something not to be missed.  Because we were unofficially on a tour (I say unofficially because we were just using the tour bus as transportation) we were only able to stay in Pisac for 30 minutes.  This is one of the reason why I despise tours so much (sorry Mom and Dad, I hate 'em with a passion).  Rowena and I practically jogged through the market and bought some stuff.

Calca was really a stop-over town with the usual souvenirs on the side of the road.  Nothing to report.

Urubamba was another small town that is gaining popularity amongst backpackers.  Nearby is the Moray ruins that was supposed to be a crop laboratory for the Incas.  We didn't get to see it because we were unofficially on a tour.  Gawd, I hate tours!  We did have lunch just off the road where I had my numba one culinary experience.  Pan with queso.  Wait, you're thinking your numba one culinary delight was bread and cheese?!  Hell yea it was!  The cheese... ooooh the cheese.  Nothing like it in the U.S. and I won't even make an attempt to describe it.  It was that good.

From Urubamba, we were dropped off at Ollantaytambo.  Ollantaytambo was thee place to catch the train to Aguas Calientes (the city at the base of the Machu Picchu ruins).
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