One Million steps and few thousand more travel blog

Llama feeding

Colour mixing


Pisac marketplace overlooked by terraces

Photo opp Note look on young boy fsce not bothered

Buying precious gifts

Looking up still a long way to climb

Looking down

Spectactular view down Sacred Valley

Looking across to the storage units opposite

We got our in private coach a 16 seater for the 4 of us and headed up and over into the next valley where we stopped at Awanacancha or I wanna catch you outa to explore a small complex which held all sorts of llamas, vicuñas, alpacas and guanacos, which were hungry and needed to feed, and then and only then would they allow themselves to be the complex there were a number of artisan families showing how through the use of herbs and spices, they were able to create many different colours for dying their products. We then had demonstrated the art of weaving and loom work before being lead to the slaughter. Once inside more small but (note to future receivers of these gifts ) expensive gifts were procured. I even brought myself a traditional hat made of baby alpaca ( most expensive) to wear at golf on saturday. This has has been guaranteed by the local shaman to knock 3 strokes off my handicap!

After the knitted products we headed to a delightful town of Pisac, the birthplace of the Pisco alcoholic drink, but also an extremely rich village as it had access to gold, silver and various precious materials including shells. Here too we had a personal demonstration of the art of jewellery making and lead to the outlet and again after much discussion and bartering spent another small fortune on gifts( note please see previous note) but I did a last minute negotiation for an additional llama key ring. I also had a photograph with two locals, a sister, brother and their lamb. You can see how pissed the brother is in the photo, but more pissed when I did not pay him but gave the money to his sister.

It decided to throw it down and as there was a fire going next door behind the shop we purchased some empanadas mine was meat, but Dave got banana and cheese!!! We had a wonderful lunch in a local village restaurants where the wine got the better of me and I negotiated a deal for 2cds from the pipe playing locals a bargain at 2 for 50 sols ( £10). Alison was not amused with my frivaliant attitude and then gave 5sols to an elderly lady who sat next to her.

The afternoon was spent at Ollantaytambo where we visited and ascended this Inca temple built high into the adjacent mountain place. The extremely steeped terraces rose over 200m to the sun god alter on top. We had to have 3 breather breaks as the site was at 4300m. Some fantastic views both up and down sacred valley as well as some amazing storage facilities hanging on the sides of the mountain, as well as carved faces at impossible to get to locations. We also learnt about the significance of some of the rock outcrops as they were used to determine the seasons.

We finally arrived at our super swish hotel Sol y Luna (the sun and the moon) part of the Relais and Chateaux Guide. The hotel is wonderfully located away from the main road into the mountains. The chalets are large and comfortable. The food and drink are to die for, but slow to come as every element is prepared from raw ingredients, even if they come out of a bottle. Went to bed full and satisfied. Got up to take photos of the moon at 02:30 but it was cloudy.

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