June 12th, 2011
We met at 8:30 in the Plaza de Santiago today for a big day of touring of the Sacred Valley. Our first stop was at Pisac ruins at the Urubamba Valley. Our guide motioned to the mountains in the distance that served as tombs, but when they were discovered only three bodies remained in them. We could see all the holes carved into the rock of the mountain that served as the tombs, in which the bodies were positioned in the fetal position. There were about 3000 holes in the mountain that served as tombs.The traditional terraces and stonework were incredible as usual. We then stopped at a market for a bit, where I made my first alpaca chompa purchase.
We stopped at lunch at an unbelievably beautiful location. It was a buffet of tons of traditional Peruvian food and a lovely array of vegetables. After eating we ventured out to the backyard area of the restaurant that was right along the Urubamba River. We sat by the river and followed the llamas and vicunyas that were wandering around the grounds.
Our last stop was Ollantaytambo, which was an important ceremonial site for the Incas. The climb up all those stairs definitely got our hearts racing. But reaching the top gave us a beautiful view, with the sun shining and the valley below us. We continued up a small path and stopped to check out the view, only to look down and realize there was a bull fight going on right below us in a ring, so we sat contently for a while watching the excited crowd cheer while sitting beside Incan ruins. Not many people can say that. Luckily, we learned they didn’t hurt the bull, as tradition would have it, but they just really piss the bull off. We managed to have Monica tweak the itinerary a bit in the moment so that we could stay and absorb our surroundings for a bit longer at the ruins instead of going to see more ceramic artifacts somewhere. We grabbed some churros from a street vendor before getting on the bus for the 2 hour ride back to Cusco.