Blogs from Sacred Valley, Cusco, Peru, South America

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South America » Peru » Cusco » Sacred Valley November 13th 2013

Chinchero and Magical Earthworks Green circles spiral down into the earth, glistening white polygons tumble down a canyon, and grassy step pyramids carve a mountainside--otherwordly landscapes created five hundred years ago by those master builders, the Inca. Between Cusco and its Sacred Valley, lie three remarkable Incan sites--the experimental agricultural circles of Moray at 3500m/14,000 ft, the still-used salt pans of Salineras and the town of Chinchero built upon Incan foundations. While many breeze through all three in a day tour or even combine them with a couple of other sites, I took a slower route. Moray and Its Mystical Circles I'd heard that it was a lovely, all-day walk from Moray to Salineras, and so caught a couple of local buses up to Maras, the Moray turnoff, passing through green, rolling-hill countryside in the end ... read more
Moray patterns
Salineras--salt flats patterns at Maras
Chinchero Incan terraces

South America » Peru » Cusco » Sacred Valley November 12th 2013

OLLANTAYTAMBO AND MORE - DAY 5 “The world is like a book. Those that do not travel read only one page.” - St. Augustine We spent the morning exploring the massive structure of Ollantaytambo, an imposing and well preserved Incan site. Historians writing of the Incas will tell many stories of the significance of this site, but what impressed me most was the height of the structures and the amazing technical and engineering features known so long ago. They built terraces for crops along the steep mountain side and, because temperatures changed as elevations increased, planted crops according to their individual characteristics. They also developed techniques and facilities for storage of crops for use when the growing season was over. These people were smart! Not so I as I walked up the high, uneven stone steps ... read more
RUINS AT OLLANTAYAMBO
OLLANTAYTAMBO
OLLANTAYTAMBO

South America » Peru » Cusco » Sacred Valley November 11th 2013

Sacred Valley - day 4, Awanakancha, Wayra, and Yanahuara, Peru We started the day very early, 4:30 am wake-up and luggage out by 5:00. The bus left for the Lima airport at 6:00 for a flight on StarPeru to Cusco at 8:35. The Monday morning traffic was tough enough, but one stretch of road was under reconstruction. It took more than an hour to reach the airport, but all went OK, thanks to our tour guide and the Tauck representatives. The flight was smooth and uneventful and the view of the snow capped mountains was very impressive, but when I got off the plane I immediately noticed some altitude effects (11, 300 ft.) so I bought a bottle of “Oxishot” in case I needed it later. We were leaving Cusco by bus (I’ll be back Thursday) ... read more
HI FROM CUSCO
CUSCO'S PROTECTOR
LLAMAS

South America » Peru » Cusco » Sacred Valley June 7th 2013

Went down to the main square where they were still having a parade and dancing for the corpus Christi. Went to the Inka museum to get some back ground on where we aere going and the history behind it. Then headed to the Sacred Valley. !st stop was a place that spun and made their own handicrafts. They showed us how they washed the alpaca using a natural detergent that they made by grating this vegetable. Then showed all the natural dyes that they used. Had lunch in the backyard of a house. Potato soup and chicken stir fry (which had the manadotory potato chips in it). Then went next door to where they made corn beer. We also played agame where you throw coins. Thenwent up around the corner to where a lady make chocolate ... read more
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South America » Peru » Cusco » Sacred Valley March 6th 2013

Thankfully I woke up feeling so much better today. I always plan an extra day in my landing city for the most undesirable "Wallow Brendan" where I feel crappy, wallow in self pity and second guess my desire to travel. By the next day he has been beaten into submission by one of my other selves and off we all go to have the most wonderful time. That was how this trip started. I had a nice breakfast in the hotel, met for the tour to the Sacred Valley. To be honest, I really signed up for this tour to kill a day and had no real expectations. Was I ever wrong? Today’s tour was great and the group had some of the nicest, most interesting people on it. All in all it was fun to ... read more
Small Cristo Redentor
The Valley in All Its Splendor
The Valley with Company

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South America » Peru » Cusco » Sacred Valley January 8th 2013

We honestly do not know how to write this day’s blog, or even what to say, but it was not about the day in as much as it was about learning about an amazing culture that existed many years ago. We studied about the Mexican, Central and South American Indians in school, but Steve slept through most of high school…. The Incas are a fascinating and incredibly talented culture, who had engineering, architectural and agricultural skills that rival anything we have accomplished today, especially given most of the ruins we are visiting came during the final 100 years of their cultural apex, prior to the Spanish invasion. What we will find tomorrow at Machu Picchu has us both very excited. We spent the day with our guide and driver in the Sacred Valley region of Cuzco ... read more
Actual entrance to Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu
Amazing flutist -- He plays all of these during a single song
Another New Adventure!

South America » Peru » Cusco » Sacred Valley December 21st 2012

Ons het heel verligtend ons oë oopgemaak, en gesien die wêreld het toe nie vergaan nie, wel, nie hier by ons nie. Breakfast was vir die hoeveelste keer 'n damn bun met jam en swart koffie, en dan wil hulle jou 3 Soles charge vir 'n bietjie melk...se gat man! Ons is na breakfast opgetel deur ons toer bussie vir die dag om die Sacred Valley te gaan verken, dit begin net so buite Cusco, en dis 'n klomp Inca ruins. Ons eerste stop Pisac, dit het bestaan uit 'n klomp terasse, mure en geboudjies ongeveer moer lank terug. Pragtige view. Die lug in die vallei is so skoon, orals groei daai 'ou mans baard', selfs op die kraglyne en die natuur lyk baie soos die laeveld. Ons het by Urubamba gestop vir middagete, en toe ... read more

South America » Peru » Cusco » Sacred Valley December 19th 2012

Please note: we have been unlucky enough to lose 95% of our MP photos due to some horrific SD card error or something. We were only able to recover some but not the greatest ones. Let’s just say this place was less than lucky for us. We left Bolivia with heavy hearts as we really got to love this country. The journey through the border was less than easy and we reached Arequipa with no problems around 8 pm. There are a lot of stories about this particular part of the country, saying that Puno-Arequipa road is the most dangerous in Peru. We thought that our driver was really careful when taking on these sharp turns and besides the mountain drops were not even that high. Once you have taken a bus in Bolivia you know ... read more
the astonishing Machu Picchu
view from the train
at the end of Tomek's hike up

South America » Peru » Cusco » Sacred Valley October 23rd 2012

The Del Prado Inn in Cusco has pretentions to be a four star hotel with the great breakfast they had for the guest; but, unfortunately the thumping music from the disco next door that begins at 11 PM every night will keep the best guests from coming back. The first clue was the earplugs on the nightstand next to the bed. The guide showed up right on time to take me to the bus to tour the Sacred Valley. The stop at the Indian market at Pisaq gave us time to shop. The huge buffet spread for lunch was at the Tunupa Restaurant gave us time to refuel for the upcoming climb at Ollantaytambo Fortress. In that climb I couldn’t keep up with the group, but the climb was worth it. The side facing the Ollanta ... read more
The Sacred Vally, Peru
Making a Cloth
Tunupa Restaurant

South America » Peru » Cusco » Sacred Valley September 4th 2012

Peru – Jeff Twenty eight hours on a bus is enough to drive anyone crazy. Needless to say, our arrival in Lima from Guayaquil, Ecuador was welcomed with open arms. After checking into our quaint hotel in the Central Lima district, we decided to grab a meal to tie us over for the evening. We chose a restaurant suggested by our guide book that was only a few blocks away called La Choza Nautica. The food was immaculate! Prepared and served with incredible attention to detail. We had heard the Peruvian food scene was excellent and the rumor was proven true on night one. On day two, we toured Lima with no real highlights to mention. Lima had some interesting architecture and historic buildings but it seemed to fall in to the standard South American capital ... read more
Pisco Tasting :)
Huacachina
Sand Boarding in Huacachina




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