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Peru Day 6: Cusco to Urubamba

Climbing Ancient Ruins and a Bit of Shopping

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Buenas Tardes Amigos!

The day began with a bit more leisure over breakfast than we've had in a couple of days. Our Cusco, Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu guide, Freddy, met us in the lobby of the Aranwa Cusco at 9:00. Freddy and driver, Juan, loaded up our luggage and gear into the van and after a bit of groping from both Deedie and Joseph as they tried to secure seatbelts (I was sitting in the middle), we were off.

We drove up to 13,000 feet and crossed over the pass into the sacred valley. We learned a great deal about the Incas, including their system for taxing the people-- 4 months of government labor starting at about the age of sixteen. At first, this seemed a lot, but then we started thinking about how long it takes to earn enough to pay the demands of the IRS. Then, Freddy reminded us that the government labor required that people go far from home for the four months and the labor was really hard. We also learned about how the Incas freeze-dried potatoes in such a way that they essentially had no expiration date. This, along with other practices, meant that people did not go hungry in years that brought problematic weather or other disasters.

We also learned that every room in a house was/is dedicated to guinea pigs. Cuyes (guinea pigs) offer a good source of protein. Joe had one a couple of days ago. A bit gamey, he said, and requires eating with one's hands.

Then it was time to stop at our first view point:
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Our first big stop of the day was Pisac, a mountaintop fortress/village similar to Machu Picchu. The top part is at 11,000 feet. The community was well-organized, using elaborate terrace farming, but when the Spanish conquered the area, those living in these high places were forced to move.
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Next stop: Market at Pisac

Then, the long-ish drive to lunch at an old hacienda. Lunch was very good, but we're not sure what we think about the pan flute player. It reminded us a little too much of the bad jazz covers of popular music at the hotel in Cusco.

Next stop: Ollaytatambo
Another mountain fortress/village, built in accordance with the sun. During Inca time, there were probably 2,500 inhabitants. Again, when the Spanish came, they destroyed parts of the Sun Temple at the top and forced the people to move into the valley.
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Imagine being a part of the crew that dragged, pulled, pushed this rock up a huge;
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And check this out:
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Finally, it was time to be delivered to our glorious new hotel, the Inkaterra Urubamba:
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We are here for three whole nights, the longest stay of our whole Peru adventure. We are planning to enjoy it!

Adios!

Posted by ORWAT 23:04 Archived in Peru Tagged pisac urubamba ollaytamtambu inkaterra

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