Day -110 Pisaq ruins

Trip Start Jun 14, 2013
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Peru  , Quintana Roo,
Monday, September 30, 2013

Today we started a bit earlier and asked the young lady at the hostel what she would recommend we do as a day trip on our ticket, she said Pisaq is a great place as it is a small town with markets plus a ruins site on the hills behind, she told us to get a taxi for 4 soles to a bus station then catch a bus, that was a mini van to the town of Pisaq about 45 minutes drive around and behind the mountains. After breakfast we got a taxi in the main square and followed her directions. The taxi took us to a street that had mini vans with Pisaq on the front for 4 soles each they took us to Pisaq. On the way I sat next to a local man who was a bit too chatty, considering he spoke no English and his Spanish was very hard to understand I had a rough time trying to understand and he kept wanting to talk and shake mine and bobbies hand and look at my tattoos and make his scorpion tattoo on his hand bite me, I think he was drunk, luckily after about 20 minutes he fell asleep and I did my best not to wake him. Once we arrived in Pisaq town after driving up and over a mountain then back down the other side we got out of the van, we walked a little then I asked a policeman how we get to the ruins, he pointed us to a taxi driver who took us to his cab and for 25 soles he would take us to the very top of the hill where the ruin site starts. After a 15 minute drive up the hill we arrived and got another stamp on our tickets, we made our way through the haggling locals selling stuff at the front gates and into the site. Walking out into the site you start by seeing a familiar site when you see Inca ruins, that's their irrigation levels, they cut these levels into the earth like giant steps, they have soil on the top and rocks down the sides, they found that soil has a different temperature at each depth so they would plant their crops and vegetables depending on where it grows best, that's why you see these irrigation levels at each ruin site. Up on the hill is the old buildings and on the side of the opposite mountain you could see lots of small holes dug into the mountain, they are the tombs, I know that because it was listening in on a tour guide talking to a group. These stone walls in the ruins site were not like the ones at Machu Picchu or Saqsayhuaman, the rocks were smaller and had clay or mortar binding them together, which means it was either built before Pachacuteq developed the ways to build better structures or as Braulio told us at Machu Picchu on our tour the buildings were built for poorer people when they use small stones with clay. We made our way through the first parts then walked around the top part of the hill over the irrigation levels and then past through a cave on the hill to another section with buildings, these ruins were a little better made and even had running water through the drains that run fresh water off the mountain and like Machu Picchu after hundreds of years it's still working. We headed up to a lookout on top of the mountain. The lookout was great right the way around, it looked over Pisaq, down the river and the Andean mountains all around us. We decided instead of walking back to the car park and getting a taxi down we would walk to Inca trail back to Pisaq. We started walking the track which took us through 2 more building sites of the ruins, at one point we took a wrong turn and had to backtrack, then we were going to walk the wrong way again when an older local man called out to us asking if we were going to Pisaq? He waited for us then walked us down the mountain. Along the way I asked if he worked in the ruins, he didn't speak English but we were able to understand his Spanish, he sold hand made wind chimes up there which he showed us and we bought some for 20 soles, I needed to change a 100 for the bus home and they seemed really nice and Bobbie liked it. He also tried to sell us a meteorite rock for meditation but It was too expensive. It took an hour and a half to trek down the mountain, it was a great walk but hard on the knees. At the bottom the older man pointed us in the direction of the buses and waved us goodbye, I had asked if he walks up and down everyday but he told me he gets a ride up and walks down, still pretty good for an old man. Once in the town we had a quick look through the market then a few shops Bobbie got a great new hat and ring she was over the moon about. We found our way back to the mini vans and piled in for the return drive to Cusco. When we got back to the city we walked back to the hotel and chilled for a bit before heading out for dinner, we went to a restaurant down the road, it was ok but I wouldn't call it a hidden gem, I tried alpaca meat which was like lamb but a bit saltier and Bobbie had a burger. We very much enjoyed having a hot shower as the gas had been refilled that morning.
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