Monday, 19 April 2010

The Sacred Valley Tour, Cusco

After getting in at 4.30am, and with 3 hours sleep, Lilja and I went on the Sacred Valley coach tour. Despite the beer and free rum and cokes the night before, we both felt ok, which was a good thing as the roads were windy, steep, and hilly. The scenery was fantastic, really spectacular, lots of snow capped mountains, and lush hidden valleys.
First stop was Pisac, a small town with a Sunday market. The market was very bright and colourful, with a lot of women dressed in traditional Peruvian clothes. We then visited the Inca ruins, which were very impressive. Our guide was very knowledgable and spoke good English. Then on to Ollantaytambo, a very quaint,and picturesque village with narrow cobbled streets. The Inca ruins are a large fortress built into the mountainside. We climbed 310 steps to reach the top. The view of the valley was spectacular. We stopped for lunch at a buffet restaurant serving traditional Peruvian food, all you can eat for 20 soles, about 5gbp. Lastly, we stopped at Chinchero, Inca ruins, with pretty cobbled streets and an ornate church at the top. The tour started at 9am and finished at 7.30pm, it was a very long day, with a lot crammed in, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. I have found so far, that no matter where you go, there will be a Peruvian trying to sell you something.
I climbed up to the Cristo Blanco on Saturday morning, a large statue of Jesus Christ on the top of a hill, you can see the whole of Cusco from there. Cusco was called the earths navel by the Inca´s. There were women at the top selling clothes and water. At every ruin there were street sellers, and they are very persistent, sometimes using their children to guilt trip you into buying something. Apart from that, Peru is a fantastic country.

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