Glaciers, Deserts, Mountains - Latin America 2007 travel blog

A view up towards the ruins of Ollyantaytambo

Finished blocks of stone left unused after the Spanish invation

Two massive blocks, with a sliver of anti-Earthquake protection

A straight road from the ruins to the stone quarry

More unused stones left lying

A view down from the top of the ruins

A typical water fountain

(Sounds like a film with Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner, doesn't it?)

Day 29 - On to the Sacred Valley

We woke up early (again) and had to pack up and meet our guide for our trip and transfer to the Sacred Valley...

Unfortunately I had been awake all night throwing up as I'd eaten some chilli con carne the previous day (that meal at the Cross Keys we believe) and had a nasty dose of food poisoning - so was feeling absolutely awful - like a wet rag to be honest.

Anyway I packed quickly (well threw everything in the bag) and joined Paul upstairs to meet the guide. She seemed nice and was called Odelia and the driver, another Jimmy...

We headed straight to the Farmacia and got some industrial strength Imodium-type drugs and off we went to the Sacred Valley.

On the way we stopped off at various ruins, including the colourful Indian market at Pisac (where I recovered sufficiently to purchase a few more souvenirs) and the amazing Inca fortress of Ollyantaytambo - it's quite amazing how such huge blocks were dragged up by the Incas and then fitted together with such precision.

Paul and Odelia climbed the 400 or so steps up to the top, whilst I made friends with a young Peruvian boy (skipping school I would imagine) and his entourage of dogs.

After leaving here we then drove to the hotel and settled in for our 2 night stay - I went to bed all afternoon and woke up feeling much better; Paul was busy sorting pictures out etc. for this blog.

After a lovely meal - though I am not eating any meat at the moment- we went to bed and I slept like a baby for the whole night - first time since I have been away.

The very best thing is that tomorrow we have ABSOLUTELY nothing planned - no early morning starts, no trips, no guides, no nothing- and I just can't wait!

Note that the photos for this day show various information we learned during this day, such as how there were finished and unfinished blocks lying around Ollyantaytambo because they were still in the process of building the site when the Spaniards came; some existing blocks have smaller slivers of stone in between, so mitigate against the damage of earthquakes; and a long, straight pathway (now a road) along which the blocks of stone were transported from the quarry. What isn't shown, because it didn't come out clearly enough in pictures was one side of a nearby mountain, onto which was supposedly carved the face of a white man, replete with beard. Apparently, this carving was already in place when the Spaniards first arrived, and the story goes that the first white men to meet South American peoples were very pleasant and simply traded with the locals. When the Spanish turned up, they expected these white people to be the same, and so trusted them to their own cost. It is thought that if there were indeed white men travelling along the South Coast of the Americas in such ancient times, they must have been Vikings. No conclusive proof has yet been found.

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