Results 1-5of 5 Reviews
Tel Aviv, Tel Aviv, Israel
February 8, 2011
From journal Vanishing into a Lost City
October 11, 2010
From journal The sacred Valley
New York, New York
April 27, 2005
From journal What's a Trip to Peru Without Machu Picchu?
Broadbeach Waters, Australia
June 6, 2002
In the town of Pisac the markets are a great place to sift through what's on offer: some unusual pieces and great souvenirs. Besides the normal woolly Alpaca things and typical touristy buys, you can find some ancient treasures. We bought an Incan statue made from white granite from near Machu Picchu. There was not only old stone relics but also loads of pottery pieces. Also, from the colonial era, there were old coins, silver pieces and even the old wooden stirrups, enclosed and richly carved. I could have spent the entire day there browsing.
Ollantaytambo was the next highlight and our favourite ruin aside from Machu Picchu. Our guide was the same one as we had for the city tour so was a wealth of information.
He explained how, when originally built, the large stones (and they were gigantic) of the ruin came from across the other side of the river. When they were all down next to it, the river was actually re-routed around them so that they could be moved up into position. He also pointed out the face carved into the mountain so as to "scare" off the native peoples from the Amazon, as they carried many diseases such as malaria that the Incas had no resistance to.
We also learned how they had calculated exactly where the wind would hit the mountains around them, so that when it came down through the valley, they built their storage huts for grain and dry-goods in these spots so that their food supply stayed fresh and dry.
Then we moved on to the village of Chinchero, with their church and square with their kids all wanting to know your name and where you were from.
And then after an exciting day past some of the most beautiful mountain scenery back to Cusco.
If you have the Cusco Tourist ticket all entry fees are included with this.
A very enjoyable and interesting tour.
From journal Cusco and the Sacred Valley of the Inca's
September 10, 2000
We made it to the bus station intact, and loaded up for the 45 minute
ride to the Alta Pampa, the high plains above the Urubamba river
valley. We cycled for hours surrounded by the awesome peaks of the
Andes and the humble villages hunkered in their shadows. Although the
ride took us generally downhill, the frequent uphill portions were made
brutally difficult by the high altitude.
Along the way we stopped at two unique archeological sites. The first
was an area of ancient circular agricultural terraces where the Incas
experimented with different crops.
After a brief stop at the agricultural terraces and a Coke in the town
of Maras, we cycled across the vast plane descending towards the
Urubamba river. By this point in the day our arms were as tired as
our legs from the pounding vibrations.
The second archeological
site of the day was the ancient salt pans. Spread along the far wall of
the canyon were hundreds of small white pools set in uneven terraces
reaching from halfway up the canyon wall to the valley below.
The path followed a narrow ledge cut out of the canyon wall and our
exhausted arms battled the rocks and rain-cut channels to keep us from
plunging over the edge. We walked our bikes over the roughest patches stopping occasionally to
look at the lengthening sunlight reflect off the salt pools.
Omar guided us down to the Urubamba valley and we rode
alongside the river on the paved asphalt. The last hour was spent in stop-and-go agony as I crawled along the small undulating hills in the valley cowering as
packs of large busses raced along besides me carrying tourists
back to Cusco after their half-day tours of the valley.
After breakfast, of fresh juices in the Urubamba market, the next day
was spent riding along the Urubamba river through small villages,
fields being prepared for the next planting, and alongside yards filled
with drying corn from the last harvest. At one stop Omar bought a
cupful of the local grain alcohol, Chicha, and offered us a taste. It
tasted of fermentation and sugar and packed a mild punch. A very drunk
local woman watched in amusement as we took our small, tentative sips.
We arrived, dirty and sore, in Cusco later that day and checked back
into our hotel for one day of rest before setting out on the Inca Trail
to the mystical Inca city of Machu Pichu.
From journal Bike the Sacred Valley of the Incas