View of the Sacred Valley
Sunday we took an all day tour of the Sacred Valley which is the area between Cusco and Machu Picchu with lots of ruins, markets, etc. Organized tours are not necessarily my favorite thing to do but it was Sunday market day and we figured it would be fun. The drive over the pass from Cusco was pretty spectacular but we knew we were on the dorky tourist bus when we blasted by the ruins at Tambomachay and Pukara in order to get to the souvenir stands more rapidly….We did stop at a cool little market prior to Pisac where I managed to buy an Alpaca hat and gloves for the trek. The market at Pisac itself was huge and mostly very touristy, however there was a cool little uncovered section with old women weaving and a nice vegetable market which we always like.
At one point, Cindy saw a dog pee on a pile of spring onions, you might say taking a leak on the leeks J. We took a ton of pictures there - if anyone shows up at our house, we can torture you with those as I only uploaded a few here.
Little boy at the Pisac Market
After the visit to the Pisac market, we stopped at a touristy little buffet lunch place which actually had pretty good food and of course, Peruvian musicians playing tiny little guitars, flutes and various other bamboo instruments. We heard “If I Had a Hammer” for the 400th time on our third day in Peru and neglected to buy their CD (since we had already bought one at dinner the previous night). Next stop was the ruins at Ollantaytambo which are actually pretty cool terraces all arranged around the vernal and autumnal equinoxes if that is a word.
Our tour guide there was over the top proud of the Inkans and their accomplishments and gave us a very detailed tour of the area. The village itself is really cool looking and we would of liked to have stopped there, however it was time to board the bus and head of to the next and last stop for the day at Chinchero. There is an old Inkan temple there and a very pretty Catholic church (which are of course everywhere…) and a beautiful square filled with local weavers selling their wares. We did manage to see a very pretty sunset at Chinchero before heading back to Cusco through the mountains.