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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Ollantaytambo, Cusco, Peru

May 12, 2011 - Ollantaytambo / Sacred Valley

Travel with our local guide through the Sacred Valley of the Incas. An important source of food for the Inca, the Sacred Valley is a lush agricultural region that continues to supply the city of Cuzco with much of its produce. Visit the impressive Pisac ruins and the colourful artisan market (market days only). The day trip finishes in the picturesque village of Ollantaytambo, site of another large Inca ruin. Here we catch our breath and prepare for the hike ahead. Ollantaytambo is your first taste of what lies ahead on the Inca Trail. The...

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May 7, 2011 - The Sacred Valley

Our bags packed and an overnight bag read and we were off to find some coffee and something to eat. We went to Jack’s Café just 2 blocks from the hotel and has been very well recommended. Then off for our tour of the Sacred Valley with our local guide Margoth, Carla also came along and her fiancé was also on the tour (Michael an Australian), his parents are on the tour as well (over from Australia and the wedding is 2 days after there tour finishes) but they had a separate guide and had started out earlier. On route and stopped into a...

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Mar 14, 2011 - Touring the Sacred Valley

Cusco 8 Mar 2011 – 2200 in Peru The evidence of the remarkable Inca Empire is to be found all over South and Central Peru but, for tourists at least, it is perhaps most vividly experienced in the Sacred Valley – except for the incredible Machu Picchu. Today, we had a full day tour to explore the Sacred Valley for ourselves. The small group we joined reunited us with Tony and Sally – again - and we met another Australian couple, Dave and Lisa. A young Indian-American couple completed our party. The tour was quite low-key, to begin with. We...

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Jan 15, 2011 - Ollantaytambo

On the way to Ollantaytambo we stopped at a remote village where Gap (the company we booked our tour with) supports the local weavers. All the women were in traditional dress and showed us their weaving skills and how to dye the wool, they make shades of red by crushing a beetle. The road to get there was VERY VERY narrow and muddy and right on the edge of a cliff, but we survived!! We then stopped at Sacred Valley and Pisac where we went for a hike around some Inca ruins and then stopped at an animal sanctuary where they have rescued...

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Jan 11, 2011 - PS: The Cuy Experience

As a “bon voyage” sendoff, Ruth and Karina, the staff at Apu Lodge decided to serve Dan & I a traditional, highland Cuy dinner. This was extremely special since they only have cuy (pronounced “cooey”) as a celebratory meal and acquiring fresh (live) cuy is difficult. Residents raise only the amount they need and finding an extra cuy or two raised by someone Ruth or Karina trusted was the first priority. Luckily for Dan & I, Ruth’s sister-in-law was willing to part with 2 full-grown cuy. It’s a tremendous amount of work to clean and gut the...

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Trip Journal


Life Recast

Jan 7, 2011 - Local Immersion

So, how do you cook a 16 pound turkey when there is no oven? Why you take it to the baker's oven of course! As I was struggling to order our Christmas turkey, I wasn't thinking about the details of cooking it. And soon discovered I didn't have to. Every morning, around 7 am, Dan visits one of a few local bakers who bake the day's supply of bread for the entire village. Dan picks up Apu Lodge's required amount to serve to guests for breakfast and whatever we'll need for bag lunches. The individual breads, pretty much the same throughout this...

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Trip Journal


Life Recast

Jan 1, 2011 - Ollantaytambo to Cusco

Up early and walked up ruins of Ollantaytambo. Fabulous way to start the New Year!!Beautiful day, bright sun. Bus back to Cusco, into Hotel Marqueses. Walked for lunch(lots of tourists today!!), then spent afternoon resting/setting up website. Vinny: It was a nice day. We walked up the terraces, then we walked back down and ate. (Walked 4 ½ miles)

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Dec 31, 2010 - Ollantaytambo

Trained back to Ollantaytambo. To Heart’s for lunch – Jen stayed (uploaded pics to website)while boys hiked up side of mountain (to Ruinas Pinkylluna). Nice dinner on road down to train. To bed before midnight (so, so tired!) Tony: There was a path that led out of the valley then clung to the side of the mountain. It led to different Incan houses built into the cliffs. **Jen walked 1.96 miles – Tim walked/hiked maybe 5 and boys walked/hiked maybe 4…

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Dec 29, 2010 - Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes

We started the day in Ollantaytambo – wandering around the small town built upon Inca stonework. We could see the fortress looming above the town. We’ll explore that on Friday. In the afternoon we traveled by train (because it’s the only possible way ) to get to Aguas Calientes, where we’ll stay while we explore Machu Picchu. Vinny: I ate alpaca for dinner. It tasted like a mixture between lamb and beef. It was delicious. I went on the strangest train ride I’ve ever been on: through the Andes Mountains. Tony: We took an awesome train ride...

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Dec 28, 2010 - Via Ferrata!

Today we did the Via Ferrata.(In Italian that means “The Iron Way”: a series of ladders built into the cliff, such as was used in WW1 to get troops over the Dolomites into Austria.) We scaled a mountain to 330 meters (about 1000 feet)up.(South Mountain in Emporium is about 800 feet…) Then we climbed across the face for awhile before zip-lining back down in a series of 5 zips. We went in a group with about 10 other people, and the whole thing took us 4 and a half hours. Vinny: It was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever done. Tony: We...

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Dec 23, 2010 - El Nacimiento y Felize Navidad

Don't let the title fool you. I wish I could report the language lessons were working ... but we're still speaking in one word sentences. Our "kitchen spanish" however is coming along quite nicely and we order with some confidence in the restaurants! Recently we have enjoyed the company of many New Englanders and New Hampshirites in particular! Remember how I used to comment that we were only 1 degree from anyone in NH? Well, it's proving to be true. I went hiking with Karen Hester, a guest from California whose sister (Tina) is very good...

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Trip Journal


Life Recast

Dec 13, 2010 - Sacred Valley of the Incas

We left Cusco yesterday and headed to the Sacred Valley of the Incas, but first have a few more points to share with you all about general Peruvian life: 1. Don´t bother looking for seatbelts. They don´t exist if you sit in the back seat. Don´t reach... you will feel like an idiot. 2. Strange and unpredictable weather. 3. Attention all of you potato and corn lovers out there. Peru contains over 3000 types of potato and over 50 types of corn. Yum. 4. Expect to be CONSTANTLY harrassed when leaving any building. A favourite term, which...

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