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"Just be who you are, calm and clear and bright." - Richard Bach, Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah

Adventures in Peru: the Sacred Valley

The Sacred Valley.

On the 23rd we started off with a nice long walk through the ruins at Pisac. A footpath leads you along the hills above the Sacred Valley, past sweeping agricultural steppes and the ruins of houses, temples, and defensive structures.

We were out all morning, but it wasn’t very strenuous because the footpath through the ruins is fairly flat, and then there’s a rather steep and windy decline back into the town of Pisac (which left me with slightly wobbly knees, but not winded).

We went through this cave passageway towards the beginning of the Pisac walk.

We stopped to clamber up to this watchtower, while Kate took photos from the top of a staircase opposite.

…and to give you a better sense of perspective (Jill’s down below).

Towards the end of the Pisac walk.

After Pisac, we made a brief stop at the salt mines at Maras. As Kate says, this has got to be the strangest tourist attraction ever. We sampled the water (yup, salty), took some photos, bought some toasted lima beans to snack on, and went on our merry way.

Then to Ollantaytambo, another important archaeological site. Amazingly massive stonework here too–Edison pointed out the quarry, which is three or so miles away if I remember correctly. You know how some nutty people claim aliens built the pyramids? Doesn’t seem so nutty when you check out the size of these stones and how intricately they were fit together. The Incan engineers were good, but how could they have been that good?

Anyway, there was this central stepped space, vaguely resembling an amphitheatre, where the elevated classes would have assembled (highest class on the highest tier, etc.) to hear the king make his speeches; we went up the staircases and walked through the ruins situated higher up.

At the end of the day we found ourselves in town (Ollantaytambo, that is) for a quick dinner before the evening train to Aguas Calientes (the closest town to Machu Picchu). We were chatting with Edison, and he was asking Kate how we were all related. This is how she explained us: pointing to Elliot– ‘mi novio’ — to me — ‘mi hermana’ — to Jill — ‘mi suegra’ [mother-in-law] — and then to Spencer: ‘mi nada!’  She just couldn’t remember the word for brother-in-law, but it came out sounding really mean (although we got a good laugh out of it).

And here is a picture of Elliot mooning a busful of Japanese tourists.

Next post: MACHU PICCHU!

4 Comments to Adventures in Peru: the Sacred Valley

  1. October 20, 2010 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    What an amazing adventure this must have been. Can’t wait to see your photograph from Machu Picchu! I would love to travel there some day.

  2. Kate's Gravatar Kate
    October 20, 2010 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    I am so confused by the caption on the last picture. Did I miss something?!

  3. Elliot's Gravatar Elliot
    October 21, 2010 at 12:21 am | Permalink

    Hahaha. I’m confused but I think it’s funny.

  4. October 21, 2010 at 12:35 am | Permalink

    Elliot usually reads my blog without loading the pictures…not this time! Bwahahaha!

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Hi! I'm Camille. I only write stories that could never ever happen in real life, though I do believe in real-life magic. If we were in the same room I'd fix you a cup of tea, but for now we'll have to settle for a virtual connection. I'm really glad you're here.