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Published: September 20th 2011
Sunday September 11th
Another full day of walking and visiting ruins. When we left Cusco it was raining and as we started driving past the ruins from yesterday (from the city tour) it was gorgeous! But, as we entered the Sacred Valley (Valle Sagrado) the clouds came in again and by the time we reached Pisac, the first ruins, it was rainy, windy, and cold! So, the ruins weren´t that enjoyable although they did look mysterious in the clouds and rain which was cool. We spent some time in the colonial town below the ruins in the market before driving another hour to reach Urubamba, the town where we stopped for lunch. The lunch buffet at the restaurants there was was specifically for tourists and so incredibley expensive. Vivi and I had brought sandwiches and snacks with us so we saved some money and then had ice cream for dessert, yum! Finally, as we were finishing lunch the sun came out. It was just in time because the next ruins, Ollantaytambo, were incredible and my favorite of any ruins I have seen so far in South America. The ruins were huge terraces that we had to climb up and then there used to be a solar temple at the top but it was destroyed by the Spaniards and all that is left of it is a wall made out of 5 huge stones (52 kg each.) The village is in a valley below the ruins and then across the valley is another mountain with ruins of storage buildings as well as a huge face carved into the rock. The Incas called it a god and it is an image of a white man with a beard who supposedly arrived in Peru before the Spaniards, akthough it can´t be proved, so it is just a legend.
Another hour drive away we stopped in a town called Chinchero which also has ruins but it famous for its textiles. We had a short demonstration of how the dyes are made, the wool is spun, and eventually how it is woven, which was very interesting. We were a bit behind schedule so I just checked out the ruins quick and then there was no time to shop before we had to get back on the bus, oh well. Back in Cusco (6:45 pm) we just had dinner and went to sleep exhausted after our second long day. It feels like we hardly had a weekend and tomorrow is back to work!
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