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Published: October 28th 2018
Woke up at 7:00 to shower, pack and have breakfast before our scheduled 08:45 pick-up for the airport. They actually came a little early but better early than late. The guide Sapa, was the same one who had picked us up and this time they drove via the coast road which was great as we hadn’t had the chance to walk along the beach as we had planned. Sapa gave us a running commentary as well so it was like a mini-tour. We also got into a political discussion and it seems all Latin American countries have very similar problems with corruption and too many parties and candidates. She also said that they are trying to bring in a law that all candidates have a certain level of education.
Sapa accompanied us into the airport to help us check-in and apparently we were suppose to have kept our luggage tags on because they treated our two night stay as a stop-over. Problem was they never told us, but after a while they sorted it out with new tags.
Flight was a short 90 minute flight and we were again greeted by a Condor Travel guide and driver for the
drive to Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley. Our guide said it would take about one hour but that was actually to the first stop which was a demonstration of how they prepare alpaca wool. We knew it was the old “free demo but you feel compelled to buy trick” but we went along with it anyway. A young girl gave the demo and spoke very good English but the whole spiel was very rehearsed and mono toned but it was interesting nonetheless, but yes, Daisy then felt compelled to buy something and she got an alpaca wool scarf which cost about $AU85 but it was better than the shawl she tried selling us at about $AU422.
The stop was about 40 minutes and it took another one hour to arrive at Ollantaytambo at 15:50. The drive through the Sacred Valley was surprising because I was expecting a rugged landscape but it was actually a lush valley with mostly rolling hills and farmland. As we approached the road turned to cobblestones and the road narrowed considerably ,such that at parts, cars had to give way going in opposite directions. On arrival we discovered that we couldn’t stop the van outside
the hotel. We had to park on a road and carry our luggage up a number of cobble-stoned steps, drag them along a few more metres and up a couple more steps to our hotel. Thankfully our guide took Daisy’s bag so I just had to worry about my own. This strenuous exercise was a very good test of how I would cope with the oxygen levels and even though I was huffing and puffing a bit by the time I carried our bags up another two flights of stairs at the hotel, I managed to recover fairly quickly. When we saw the view we had from our window, it all seemed worthwhile. The Hotel Intitambo is lovely and we can actually see the Incan ruins behind Ollantaytambo which we will inspect later on (maybe just me that is).
The town itself looks charming and we loved it immediately. We really felt like we were in the Andes now. After settling in, we picked a place for dinner which was OK but not great. We tried Alpaca meat cooked in two different ways, Daisy didn’t like it at all but I quite liked it. We had a video chat
with Mitch and Emily and also struck up a conversation with an Aussie family from Tasmania who are doing the Inca Trail tomorrow.
As far as the altitude goes we are coping well so far. Daisy took the Diamox tablets that out doctor prescribed and I decided against it because I didn’t have problems previously in Yunnan Province China which has a similar altitude of 2,500 to 3,500 metres above sea level.
Tot: 0.035s; Tpl: 0.016s; cc: 11; qc: 28; dbt: 0.0073s; 1; m:saturn w:www (18.104.22.168); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.3mb