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Published: February 17th 2012
Ollyantantaybo or 'Ollyanta'
Local restaurant menu - wine is always good sense!!
Taxi ordered by Andina Travel for the four of us not trekking at 9.00 am to drive us to the hotel at Ollyantaytambo to meet the rest of the group finishing the trek.
Ollyantaytambo is a very pretty place surrounded by steep mountains on all sides with a fierce river running alongside it. Dumped our stuff at the hotel (pretty green painted room with wooden floors and a good shower) and walked up hill to the Central Square (yet another Plaza de Armas!) Much more relaxed and a quainter atmosphere than Cusco.... Went to a coffee shop which had only opened its doors for the first time that morning. It was run and owned by an American nurse, a social worker and someone who helps the local community with textiles - run as a non-profit making organisation just because they all like good coffee and there isn't much of it around. Had a large latte each with a free cinammon roll (a Danish pastry freshly baked on the premises that morning - YUM!)
Sat in the square for a while just people watching and walked down to the train station further past our road as we would be leaving
fitting the huge stone slabs together
from there the following morning for Machu Picchu. Ambled back to the hotel to await the group which we had believed would be coming in around midday but by 2.00 pm there was no sign of them. We really wanted to see the ruins of Ollyantantaybo which dominated the cliffs above the town and although we believed there was supposedly a guided tour organised for us when the group returned, we didn't want to leave it until either it was pouring with rain or it was too late. Walked to the ruins and organised a Guide to take us round and explain what we were looking at. We were given a 2-hour tour. Ollyantanytaybo was named after an Incan general (Ollantantay). Incan stonework is incredible. The blocks fit perfectly on top of each other and some even have curved edges. The stone comes from a quarry around 8 kms away, the other side of the river and the larger stones were carried by 500 people or so in the same manner as the Egyptians brought the stones to the pyramids, i.e. by rolling them along on great tree trunks and pulling and pushing with ropes to put them in place.
a ritual meal all over Peru - YUM YUM!!
On our way back, we met the weary group and turned around for a guided tour of the village and a typical house. Granny and grandpa were sitting in the fireplace. Fortunately, they had been dead a long time and only the skulls were there! It is a Kechua/modern day Incan custom to keep their relatives watching over them.
In addition, there were about 60 to 70 guineapigs being fattened up for the kill, all running around the flloor with fluffy yellow chickens interspersed....
Returned to the hotel for showers whilst the rest of the group were shown the ruins. All met up for a group meal at a local restaurant (recommended on trip advisor - our food bible for this trip!) and so to bed........
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