First stop was Christo Blanco. The views over Cusco were far more impressive, especially having seen Christ the Redeemer in Brazil. You could see for miles and really take in the beautiful square where we had been walking yesterday.
We went on to an ancient Inca site where they performed mummification of the rulers and important figures in their society, learning about their belief in nature as Gods and the importance of sacrifices.
The sun was shining, the sun cream was on and the next stop was at a local weaving village. We went right up into the windy roads of the mountains to get there. It was a nice journey for views, not for comfort. I felt like my eyeballs were being rolled up into my head! At the village we had a demonstration of how they get the various wools (alpaca, llama, etc) and how the cleaning and dying process works. They don’t use a single chemical, it is quite startling how successful nature is and goes to show how the Western world overuses such things. Of course I made time to make friends with some Alpacas!
Further up the mountains we went to a key Inca site. Here you could really see all the terraces that they made and how the protection worked. There, there was over 1,000 burial holes in the mountain of Inca people. Only 13% of these burial sites had been excavated and of these there was a mixtures of weapons, farming tools, guinea pig remains and dog remains with the bones. The belief is that whatever was buried with them would be with them in the next life.
By this point I was Hank Marvin, so I was extremely grateful when they said the next stop was lunch! One hour later (I felt like I could knaw my own arm off!!!!) we finally arrived for some food. It was so good. We had four courses and I devoured the whole lot. My stomach didn’t know what hit it, but it was super grateful.
More bone rattling time in the bus and we arrived at Ollantaytambo, right in the heart of the sacred valley. Every direction you look there are beautiful mountains with evidence of Inca’s. We dropped off our gear at the hotel and headed off to the last stop on the tour which was a 10 minute walk away and then at the site unfortunately a lot of stairs!!!!!
Huffing and puffing I made it to the top of the stair case. I swear everytime I think I am a tiny bit fitter, the tour takes me somewhere to prove me wrong!!! It was quite spiritual to stand where the Inca’s had stood thousands of years ago, you could almost see the time passing. It was humbling to hear the history and magnificence of their work and how the Spaniards had come and put an end to it all.
We were given some last advice ready for our trekking that starts tomorrow, which we paid no attention to…. We went and had crepes in the local chocolate museum – yum!!! We then went to the shop to get last minutes bits….Like a rain poncho….In readiness for tomorrow’s challenges. Wish me luck for the next three days on the way to Machu Picchu, I’m going to need it!