Trip Start Aug 02, 2010
28Trip End Sep 28, 2010
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We left our rucksacks at the hostel, having decided to travel light for a few days. We took a local bus to Pisac, which took about an hour and cost about 50 pence. It was a small bus, but surprisingly comfortable.
Once we arrived in Pisac, we found our hostel, and then set out to visit the ruins. It was about an hourīs climb up to the start of the ruins, very steep in places, but with spectacular views over the valleys on either side. At first it looked like it was going to rain, but the few drops that fell just kept us cool until we reached the top, when the sun came out.
The ruins were enormous. They wound around the mountainside, and spread out in enormous agricultural terraces. There were a lot of buildings that were still in very good condition. Apparently the sloping walls and trapezoidal windows are a form of geometric earthquake protection.
In the valley on one side there was a cliff face with lots of holes in, where there used to be Inca burial sites, but the graves have long been emptied by grave robbers. I wondered how both buriers and robbers reached them, as they were set in a sheer vertical cliff.
At the top of the ruins we saw an enormous humming bird, about the size of a thrush, and also a kestrel, with grey wings and a russet body.
On the way back down we met an indigenous woman gathering plants from the rocks. At first we thought they were herbs for medicine or cooking, but she explained that they were to make dyes, and she showed us some of her handiwork. I bought a belt from her to keep my trousers us when I inevitably lose weight from all the hiking.
In the evening we had dinner at a little local restaurant. For 3 soles (about 65 pence) we had a three-course meal of caldo de gallina (chicken and noodle soup), saltado (strips of pork fried with onions and potatoes) with rice, mate (herb tea) and a kind of runny fruit compote. Maybe I wonīt be needing that belt after all.
Next stop: Ollantaytambo.