Scared Valley

Local Crafts at the Pisac Market
Up & at them bright & early by the sounds of a flock of birds & church bells chiming.  Today’s expedition is off to the Sacred Valley…. Before I begin, I’ll have breaky at the hostel, continental of course & wait for the tour guide to actually come into to lobby pick me up.  Everything is pretty much already arrange, I just got to be patient & wait.  Not hard for me cos I got a gift for that.
Food Market in Pisac
The Sacred Valley or the Urubamba Valley is a valley in the Andes close to Cusco & right below Machu Picchu. In colonial times it was referred to as the “Valley of the Yucay”.  My historians generally understood to include everything between Claca & Lamay, Pisac & Ollantaytambo.  The Urubamba River has formed the valley.  In Quechua, the native language of the Incas the river means Sacred River that is feed by numerous rivers descends through adjoining valleys & gorges that contains numerous archaeological remains & villages.  The valley was prize land to the Incas due to its special geographical & clement qualities where the empire where the natural wealth came from the production of maize in the area northward from Pisac. Also, Peru is home to over a thousand species of the potato crop.  You can see the influence of Andes crops into the cuisine & into the arts as well.  Yes, potatoes & beans are the big crops of the valley.  Don’t forget the yummy quinoa to go along with it too which is a high source of protein. 
Pisac Ruins
My day began with a long & windy ride into the Scared Valley from Cusco.  In a way it reminded me of the narrow windy roads that you will find in Shimane-ken.  You go up & down in elevation.  No rhyme & reason, just up & down & you must remember to come back to breath to accumulate to the altitude.  It’s crazy for sure & the trick is to drink coca tea & water to be hydrated.  The countryside is absolutely beautiful.  Lush green valleys are within eyes reach to catch a glimpse or compose that photo to tell your story.  First stop was the village of Pisaq, which is home to the famous market that takes place on the weekend.  I visited a local silver smith that made some beautiful silver jewelry.  I looked, but didn’t purchase.  Next stop was walking around the market both art & food stands.  Oh, I was in heaven trying to tell my story threw the lens.  Very bright colors were found in the craftsmanship. I ended up bartering for a few local Peruvian stones.  I collect them & they do have some healing properties in them as well.  I tried to explain that to the American I met who taught English in China, but that didn’t go over too well.  Nice time at the market you could say.  After that I visited Pisac, which is located on a cliff & I was quite impresses to see how the Incas used the land to create aqueducts & an irrigation system for their crops. The first site is twenty-seven miles from Cusco that was once a large city that included several neighborhoods. A lush green valley that is very peaceful surrounds beautiful interlocking stones. 
After that I ended up having a huge Andes buffet that I was able to find some vegetarian options like quinoa chowder & heaps of potatoes. I also, tried the famous cocktail of Peru, the Pisqo Sour that does have a raw egg in it.  I survived cos I’m not an egg person one bit.  It was a nice break in the busy day.
The afternoon brought an intense hike at Ollantaytambo.  Again I saw a rich lush green valley.  I found out at this site that the Winter Solstice 21 June is a big celebration. I noticed that there were faces in the cliffs that once held some Inca villages.  The sun, the stars, the moon all plays an important part in the Inca culture & if one looks closely at this site you can tell that it is in the shape of a lama. I was quite impressed while looking at the walls at the Inca ruins that these structures have withstood earthquakes considering that every three hundred years or so an earthquake takes place in Peru.  Ollantaytambo was a military, religious, administrative & farming complex made out of granite that was built on top two mountains. The Patakancha River divides the town in two parts: one where the houses are found & the other where ceremonial buildings were once held around the Manya Raqui square that was a strategic military headquarters.  Awesome views from the top of this complex & from below as well. 
The final stop of my busy day was Chinchero whichs is nineteen miles away from Cusco.  It is located in a superb landscape of the Vilcanota Mountains, the snowcapped Chicon & Wakay Wilka, a vibrant Sunday market, Inca & Colonial buildings are built on top of each other embracing the rich culture to this place, which make this village a priceless gem.  No cars can be found on the streets cos the streets are too narrow. Only by foot can one brace the beautiful interlocking cobblestones.  There are remains of the Inca Tupac Yupanqui’s place are interlinked with the Colonial church where if one looks closely can see the harmony of both cultures in the art work & not to forge the feminine paintings of Jesus. It’s definitely a charming place to take a stroll.  Ah, siesta is calling before it’s off to “thin air” to see the place I’ve dreamed about seeing since childhood.  Must catch some zzz’s & rest before it’s another busy day out in Inca country.  It’s definitely a must stop in a holiday to Peru.

Popular Posts