Incan Ruins in Pisac and Ollantaytambo

Ollantaytambo Travel Blog

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Camelid family of llamas, alpacas, and camels

In a very interesting and tiring day, we started at Awana Kancha, a place where you could feed llamas and alpacas. Yes!  Of course, I wanted to ride one of the animals but llamas, which are larger but still not that large, can't really take the weight of a human.  In any case, I got to get up on one and take a picture which is all that matters!  We also saw how they traditionally dye wool, which was pretty cool, including smashing a white parasite of a cactus, which becomes a dark crimson red.

We drove to Pisac about 45 minutes from Cusco and went to see the ruins which was a "test" walk for our guide Willington, "Will", "Willie".  The test walk ended up being a veritable trek up a lot of stairs.

Big and fluffy
It was then I should have noted Will's moderated descriptions of hikes.  Later, during the Inca Trail, he notoriously called a lung-bursting, sweaty climb, a "gradual" incline.  Pisac was beautiful with several different "neighborhoods" of Incan ruins.  The main temple was dedicated to the Sun god with a nearby temple dedicated to the Moon in classic Incan "duality", a word along with "puma head" would be repeated several times over the next few days.  It was amazing to see original Incan structures with perfectly fitted (without mortar!) heavy blocks moved from quarries kilometers away.  The terraces for crops and erosion protection were incredible. 

We then spent 30 minutes or so shopping at Pisac town in another open market.  We had a lunch buffet 40 minutes away in the middle of nowhere in a beautiful sanctuary with some more llamas and alpacas and even a vicuña! 

Then it was on to Ollantaytambo, a beautiful and cozy town near the official start of the Inca Trail.

Yums!
  There, we visited other ruins up impressive terraces (and literally breathtaking stairs) and observed an ancient Incan stone structure that could identify the summer solstice based on shadows cast.  It reminded me a bit of Indiana Jones.  One of the nearby mountains which enclose the tiny valley town, also has a face of an Incan deity guard which was impressively carved into the side of the mountain.  Impressive is the word for most Incan ruins.  It is incredible that some of the ruins are original and have existed more than 600 years and you can walk up to it and touch it and the rocks are relatively uneroded.  If anything was that old in the US, it would be behind a glass case in a Smithsonian museum.  It was a relatively early night as the next day was the Inca Trail!

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Camelid family of llamas, alpacas,…
Camelid family of llamas, alpacas…
Big and fluffy
Big and fluffy
Yums!
Yums!
Me and a new friend?
Me and a new friend?
Riding a llama
Riding a llama
Cactus parasite that smashes red
Cactus parasite that smashes red
Wool dying process
Wool dying process
Wool weaving
Wool weaving
A friend?
A friend?
Me and the Sacred Valley
Me and the Sacred Valley
Pisac: Vertiginous stairs down
Pisac: Vertiginous stairs down
Im still alive!
I'm still alive!
Pisac ruins
Pisac ruins
Typical trapezoidal doorway which …
Typical trapezoidal doorway which…
Another area of Pisac ruins
Another area of Pisac ruins
Me and the main temple ruins from …
Me and the main temple ruins from…
Me and the ruins from another Pisa…
Me and the ruins from another Pis…
Beautiful sanctuary where we had l…
Beautiful sanctuary where we had …
Alpaca friend
Alpaca friend
Vicuna friend
Vicuna friend
Ollantaytambo...you can see an ang…
Ollantaytambo...you can see an an…
Yes, we had to walk up those crazy…
Yes, we had to walk up those craz…
View of Ollantaytambo town...it st…
View of Ollantaytambo town...it s…
Impeccably fitted stones without m…
Impeccably fitted stones without …
Ancient irrigation system still in…
Ancient irrigation system still i…
Main square of Ollantaytambo
Main square of Ollantaytambo
Ollantaytambo
photo by: lrecht