Blogs from Ollantaytambo, Cusco, Peru, South America


South America » Peru » Cusco » Ollantaytambo August 25th 2019

Every Inca City had a Temple of the Sun, just as every Spanish City has its cathedral. Korikancha, the Cusco Temple of the Sun, was St Peters of Rome, the capital's Sun Temple where the king 'farmed' literally golden corn. We visited it a couple of days ago but,while it was good to see the remnants, the Spanish did a very thorough job destroying it. Ollantaytambo which we visited today, is a much better preserved Sun Temple, with magnificent steep terraces leading up to the Temple remains, includimg part of a wall with decorative stone inlays and a huge stone with a key shape carved into it so the next stone could be shaved down to provide a convex equivalent and the two fit together like Lego blocks. They did this with only stone and bronze ... read more

South America » Peru » Cusco » Ollantaytambo October 29th 2018

This morning we were woken by large explosions. I decided to just ignore them but Daisy was worried and got up to see what was happening but couldn’t see anything. The explosions occurred at random intervals for about 30 minutes and we managed to get back to sleep before getting up at 07:00 to shower and have breakfast. I asked the lady at the reception what the explosions were and she told us it was just to signify the start of the day’s festival. I asked why so early and she just said they want to wake everybody early to join in. She also said that many stay up and drink until 06:00. We arranged to meet Julio at 08:00 at the main road to save him walking up to get us and he called the ... read more

South America » Peru » Cusco » Ollantaytambo October 28th 2018

Relaxed start today as our scheduled tour wasn’t on until 14:00. We ventured out about 10:00 and wandered down to the main square and heard music as we approached. Turns out there is a Festival of Dance on and all these little kids were lining up to perform. We watched and waited for them to start but when 10:30 came around I decided I should start my short hike for the morning to the Inca Granaries (Pinkuylluna) that we can see from our window. It was suppose to take 1.5 hours but I figured I would go slow and hike until 12:00 before coming down again as I had arranged to meet Daisy at 13:00, so giving me an hour to get down. The hike was suppose to be moderate but moderate by Peruvian standards is ... read more

South America » Peru » Cusco » Ollantaytambo October 27th 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 ... read more

South America » Peru » Cusco » Ollantaytambo September 17th 2018

Our last day on the trail - relief mixed with a bit of sadness. Today is ‘all downhill’ but we laugh at Adrian as his descriptions to date have been ‘encouraging’ or ‘optimistic’. Kristy had also said that the last day was hard going so I really don’t know what to expect. However it is a good 4 hour, 6-7 km walk with mostly downhill and none of it a scary as the previous day. We stop at the quarry after which the trail is named. Stone was cut from here and carried down to build the town. Marcia also explains the burial huts we see on the way. As on Day 2 Linda has gone ahead with Adrian (starting to wonder about these two!) and Marcia and I wander along at the end. With the ... read more
Doing our bit at the Quarry
Burial Structures
Marcia and I celebrate!

South America » Peru » Cusco » Ollantaytambo September 16th 2018

Well, this is going to be the gut-buster - 16km, two passes at 4,400m+ and about 10 hours. The first pass is about 4 hours in and Marcia recommends Linda takes the horse with Adrian, the assistance guide for company. That leaves me with 5 young fit things and Super Marcia. She is awesome. We stop often and she alternates between the font and the back of the pack, we don’t get too spread out, within a couple of hundred metres. The track is good, well formed, not steep with nasty big steps but it is so hard to breathe. Even after a rest I am gasping for air within about 6 paces. But at no stage did I think I would not make it under my own power - I just didn’t know how long ... read more
The team (less Linda) at the first pass 4,400m
Lunch - a most welcome stop
The lady selling powerade!

South America » Peru » Cusco » Ollantaytambo May 24th 2018

Quechua is the name of the indigenous ethnic people of the Central Andes and the name of their language, the language of the Incas. They still occupy the dizzying heights today. They are not a tall people. Shanna would fit in height-wise and Vibert would feel tall. The Quechuas' weathered, leather-like faces told of countless hours in the sun working fields of corn and quinoa grown on precarious perches on the steep and verdant inclines of the Andes. Edgar was Quechua and was as described above. He skillfully piloted the big white bus through the crush of Cuzco traffic, along streets lined with brownish-red, mud-colored buildings and away from downtown. The idea now was to drive to lower elevation to acclimatize but it appeared that we first had to go even higher and soon we were ... read more
Snow Peaks
Overlooking Cuzco
Samanapaq Hotel

South America » Peru » Cusco » Ollantaytambo May 30th 2017

Pam & I leave SFO on April 21, 2015, for Lima via Miami. We arrive in Lima after midnight and are exhausted. We stay at the Belmond Miraflores Hotel arriving after 1 AM and then get up at 6:30 AM for breakfast and meet our Tauck Tour group at 7 AM. Our hotel is a five star property in the upscale Miraflores area of Lima and overlooks the cliffs and Pacific Ocean. Lima has a population of 10 million and is spread out length wise or 60+ miles along the Pacific Ocean. There is lots of traffic- cars, buses, taxis. Residents live mostly in 1-2 story apartments, many pretty old and dirty. Many are made of red brick clay or cement. We see many 3 wheeled Tuk-tuks like you would see in Asia. We meet Gaston, ... read more
Machu Picchu
Pam & Bob
Hiram Bingham

South America » Peru » Cusco » Ollantaytambo January 9th 2017

After a horrendous journey on the night bus we arrived in Cusco. Thankfully we were able to check into the hotel early so after a quick shower and freshen up I decided to dry my hair, what a mistake! The hairdryer exploded in flames as I screamed the hotel down. Jo was in the shower and was unsure whether I was dead or alive! After putting out the fire we threw the hairdryer into the corridor, crisis averted. Sometime later a little Peruvian man appeared at the door, hairdryer in hand and a confused look upon his face. Needless to say the hairdryer was no more, RIP. Then it was off out for breakfast. We went to cafe called Jacks and had enough food to feed to 5000 and finally we got our hands on a ... read more

South America » Peru » Cusco » Ollantaytambo June 8th 2016

Baggage today had to be all sorted for the Inca trail as everything would be left in Cusco for storage. I pretty much have no idea what my bag weighs as one scale came up right on 2.5 and another scale 4 kg. I'm going to hope and pray the first reading is correct. Andreas and Joel took us on private G Adventure bus on the full day sacred valley tour. We stopped first at a look out on the way to the White Jesus statue then again at the White Jesus for great views over the city. Our second stop was a G Adventures project where ladies made textiles. It's incredible the things they made and you knew who you were buying gifts off and that it was genuine alpaca wool. We were given some ... read more

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