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South America » Peru » Cusco » Ollantaytambo
April 29th 2014
Published: May 2nd 2014
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Sacred Valley


We headed off to Pisac, an Inca agricultural and burial site. The site exhibited the famously engineered agricultural terraces. The side of the mountain contained many holes in the exposed earth where graves had been "robbed." The bodies had been mummified in the fetal position. The body cavities had been filled with herbs to repel insects and preserve the bodies, pretty amazing. We also walked thru the town market, you could find about anything you needed.

It was mid-day and time to look for lunch. We'd heard about eating guinea pigs, and with the road side stands, thought this was the opportunity. Javier had a more formal restaurant in mind but was willing to grant our request. We were glad we stopped. The grilled guinea pig is so much better than the oven baked ones in restaurants. and the little old lady treated us like we were her family...lots of various dishes.

Next was Ollantaytambo, a major Inca site attracting people from all over the world. I was amazed at the buses and number of guided groups. Cannot imagine what it is like during high season. The site is amazing. How these people constructed this site is beyond my comprehension. The blocks of stone are huge and the joints literally will not allow inserting a business card...and this after experiencing a number of earthquakes over the centuries...the stones are described as "dancing."

We then headed off to Chinchero, believed to be the mythical birthplace of the rainbow. The main plaza has a small market and a colonial church. We now understand that the Spanish were not content to conquer the people, but slaughtered many of the people. Additionally, they were insistent on destroying the Inca buildings. They did, however, acknowledge the well chosen building sites and superior building foundations...they built their colonial structures on these Inca foundations.

Phil and I had expressed our interest in the Peruvian culture, so Javier enjoyed taking us to a local cooperative, where the women demonstrated how they made dyes for the yarn and their weaving skills.


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