This was a 14 day trip provided by OAT (Overseas Aderventure Travel), a subdivision of Grand Cicle Travel. It had two trip leaders. So, for practical purposes, it consisted of two separate trips in two separate countries. We first flew to Lima, Peru. We stayed there for one full day. We saw a lover's park on the Pacific Ocean Beach and walked through a City Park. We visited the central square and spent a couple of hours in a very fine museum. We could say that we had been there, but that was it!
Then we flew to Cuzco, which is 11,000ft above sea level. From there, we visited many Inca ruins nearby, including the famous Machu Picchu. This is a city built by the Incas which escaped destruction by the Spanish Conquistadores, who tried to eliminate everything the Incas built in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. From Cuzco, we had a medium size bus and we were immediately on the way to go to the Sacred Valley.
Cuzco a mountain city
Along the way :
a stop in the middle at a llama farm!
First Ruin in Pisac, this is an Incan ruin high in the mountains over-looking the town. It was striking to see what had been left by the Incas
Getting ready to climb
and here we went
Group shot on top!
Then we went to check into our hotel - in a beautiful setting with flowers and clear running water in the yard:
We had visitors at night and in the morning to give Janice a scare!
Since the Sacret Valley is at a lower altitude, we got a chance to acclimate.
In the morning we visited a primary school. Since it was Saturday some students brought their younger siblings:
The road had been damaged, so we walked in.
Our guide and the teacher!
the school a very happy student!
Then we had lunch with a local family. Kai even cooked a part of one dish! We had some food which was unusual for us:
Guinea pigs and tree tomotoes!
A tree tomato was something new, shown here with an ear of black corn:
Yes, it grows on trees!
Kai with our hostess
The next ruin was at Ollantaytambo.
a lot of steps
Rest area in the middle:
The Sun temple is on the top!
See how the rocks were cut and fit together nicely!
On the way back we saw the ruins from another angle..
The next day we came back to Ollatanytambo to catch a train to Machu Picchu, our main forcus of the Peru trip. The ride was less than two hours, for a total of about 40 miles along the Urubamba River. The river was white water most of the way, on the left side of the track. It is the most spectacular ride we experienced. The sceneary is un-matched any where!
on the left on the right!
ruins and a water fall!
one old bridge!
Fianlly, we reached the town below Machu Picchu, the river was still rushing and rolling through the town!
We did not waste any time, and went up right away to the Machu Picchu city sites. It was great! We went to every place in this old city. And I have quite a collection of pictures:
You can imagine the human activities involved in these rock constructions and in these ruins. But you will wonder just how these people, without written language, had the extraordinary ability to achieve these amazing works.
our picture too!
The next day, we started our sun-rise hike at 5am. It was a 1.5 mile hike uphill to the Sun Gate, which is part of the Inca Trail. After that hike of three miles round trip, five people went on another hike of 2 more miles to the Inca Bridge. The following pictures record these hikes:
On top at the Sun Gate!
At the end of the Inca Bridge Trail - note the bridge on the side of the cliff:
We made the five-mile trip in five hours!
We drove back to Cuzco and the next morning we visited the Sun Temple, the Sacsayhuaman Fortress, and the ceremonial center at Kenko. We attended curandero ceremony conducted by an Andean medicine man. And went to a store selling things made of alpacca.
Scenery at the Sun Temple
Town Square in Cuzco
Let's go to Ecuador next!