Sacred Valley of the Incas
Trip Start May 04, 2011
110Trip End Feb 20, 2014
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Another early morning start the following morning to start our full day tour of the 'Sacred Valley of the Incas’. Melissa ‘accidentally’ set the alarm for 530 instead of 630! So I was robbed of a full 1 hr sleep. A small bus was our transport for this tour, and yet another tour guide. First stop was a Wildlife Shelter for injured animals – saw Puma’s sleeping, a condor that tried to nibble my shoes, and I bought some llama products...including an awful beanie that might end up as someone’s Christmas gift. The scenery is spectacular, the best I have ever seen. Rolling mountains, crystal clear rivers, stone walls and cobbled streets. We then stopped at the Pisac ruins for our first real taste of Inca heritage
We then headed to the temple/fortress of Ollantaytambo, which has enormous terracing that was used for crops and surrounded by temples and remnant buildings. Great views over the town too. The Incas did not use any mortar between rock blocks and it is amazing how the blocks fit together so perfectly following their polishing and smoothing. It interests me though that the Incas were doing this in the 13-1400’s but European culture was so much more advanced with construction of places like the Westminster Abbey and the Vatican. I guess it is the isolation of Sth America versus the melting pot of Europe with so many cultures sharing knowledge and trying to out-compete their respective architecture.
We stayed the night at Ollantaytambo. A very old town that reminds me of Pompeii. All the buildings around the main square are built from rocks – it was great just wandering the streets and alleys. Very cold here though and the accommodation is very basic – the shower was terrible, the hot water was generated in the actual shower-head via some odd contraption that had electrical leads coming out of it. I had about 10 blankets on my bed. The others kicked on with drinks at the local bars, but Melissa and I were responsible and I went to bed relatively early in anticipation of Machu Picchu the next day.