50 minutes down the road we stopped at a place where they make Chicha (corn beer, boil the crap out of it, strain the liquid into a vat, cover with a cloth and left ferment for a couple days)
. We tried it, the plain one tastes like sour flat beer but the red corn one with strawberries in it was pretty tasty! Also at this place we wwere introduced to "Frog". There is a box on a stand with a brass frog in the middle with itīs mouth open and 8 other holes around it and you throw heavy golden coins trying to get them in the holes (each has a value) - sort of like the Peruvian version of darts. Apparently it makes a lot more sense when you drink lots of chicha!
On to Ollantautambo which was another step ruin we had to climb up to. wasnīt too impressed with this ruin but liked looking across the valley to the old man in the mountain (a naturally occuring gigantic face in the cliff). It was sunset so we wee here in this dustyu town but it was not tooo bad. We had to walk our gear from the bus to Dorisīs house (the name of the place we were staying) but she didnīt have enough rooms so we were scattered around local houses (which Dorisīs was really) in the neighbourhood. Mike and I didnīt mind, we got a quad room fo just the two of us! We had a brief shop for rum and water and a coffee with other people in our house. Dinner at Dorisīs was nice but very cramped - there were a lot of us in a small room! Got out of there and played chess in our room with a few shots of rum each (but only a few as we start the trail tomorrow) andf Mike won convincingly. Bed 1100.
Up 7 for breakfast whic h we thought was included by the hotel but was a rip off at 12 soles. Left 830 for the Inca Sacred Valley. We stoped at the fortress of Saqsaywaman (say it sexy woman!) which was actually a temple and had vast stone blocks of up to 120 tons and a nice view over Cusco. There was a little (compared to Rio) statue of Christ on the hill next to us. Then we were driven to the ruins of the Inca city of Pisaq (not famous like Machu Pichu as more spread out) and had a good 30 minute walk each way to get there and there were some stepp steps and I was a little puffed at the top but overall I wa feeling pretty good about my ability to walk the Inca trail the next day! Iīm already beginning to think that ruins are ruins (anyone who has gone through Europe would be familiar with the term AFC (another fucking cathedral)) but you have to admire the way the stones are joined together without morter (but to build on top of a mountain, guys, is it really worth hauling these stones to the top of a mountain to live near the gods?) Stopped in the town of Pisaq for lunch and a look in the markets (same stuff as in Cusco, how many hats or blankets do people think we want to buy?)