My Life as a Dog

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Peru / Panama 2013 - Sacred Valley

Friday, Sept 6

This day we actually didn't have to get up at ridiculous hours. I'm sure it was still early but it felt like sleeping in. They really kept up hopping on these tours. This is not what I would call a "relaxing" vacation. The hotel in Cusco provided us a buffet breakfast every morning. After breakfast we loaded up on the bus and headed out to Awama Kancha, a llama farm. There they had all the different kinds of llamas. Most of them you could walk up to and feed. So of them would get a bit friendly. They were not shy. The also showed how they make the yarn and how they dye it from natural items. They also had several people there weaving the yarns into complex patterns. The children have learned to pose for the camera and there was a cute little girl in native dress that loved seeing her photo on camera. My favorite shot was of her wearing large sunglasses from a girl in our tour group. Before it was time to get on the bus again we stopped at a shop where we could purchase items that had been created there. I bought a table runner with symbols of their culture woven into the patterns.

We rode the bus through the countryside a bit until we reached a street market in Pisac. There were all the typical touristy items that we could purchase. We were told that haggling is customary and expected. Our tour guide demonstrated how it is done with lots of drama. We were surprised that that is pretty much the way it is. Ty was looking to buy a ring and was haggling with this girl who was maybe 10-12. She was good! She would shake her head as his offering price and "no, mi amigo." So dramatically! Of course they ended up settling on a price that both were happy with.

After shopping at the market we were taken to a place out in the countryside to eat lunch, buffet style. There were lots of local dishes to try. I should have taken better notes as to what I ate, I guess because I have already forgotten. I do remember that there was some purple corn pudding for dessert which everyone seemed to think was nasty. I didn't try it.

After lunch it was off to Ollantaytambo to see more Incan ruins and to climb the mountainside upon which they were built. Getting down the road to the ruins in our large bus was no small feat. The drivers are pretty amazing because when it would drive down some of the streets people would have to step into doorways to avoid getting hit. Crazy! It was fun to hike up the terraces but it also started to register that we were at a much higher altitude than we were used to. After checking out the ruin we were taken to a family's home in the village. Part of this family's house consisted of Incan ruins. They had about 20 guinea pigs (future meals) running around on the floor, skulls of their dead ancestors, and strange things hang from the ceiling and on the walls.

Then it was back to our hotel in Cusco for the night.

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