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  • Nov16

    Pisac, Peru. In the Sacred Valley

    November 16, 2019 in Peru ⋅ ☁️ 12 °C

    Sacred Valley. House:Casa Killaunu. Pisac Inca Site and town of Pisac

    We had breakfast around 7:30, eggs, fruit and granola. Kevin came and picked us up around 9:00 and we headed through Calca to Pisac another Inca site. We didn’t have much information before we left so we’re unsure of what the hike would be like. We drove to the top of where the buses could go, negotiating switchbacks and very bumpy roads. When we reached the parking area, we experienced the usual number of sellers with all their wares on display. We proceeded along the path to look at a map that seemed very complicated. Our goal was to visit the archeological sites located at the top of the mountain and then work our way down the mountain into the village below. We realized that because of the large number of people there and the vastness of the area, we would have to move at a bit of a pace to meet our driver in the village at 3:00.

    The Pisac ruins are among Peru’s most intact ancient sites, and a perfect example of ingenious Inca architecture. They are built on top of a mountain that towers over the small town of Pisac; the views of the countryside are spectacular, and the ruins were remarkable. The exact date of construction is unknown, but the ruins are believed to be either a gift to Inca nobility, or a defense against the invasion of Cusco. What is certain is that the site served more than one function. With military, religious, and agricultural structures, the site served at least three purposes and was able to support a whole community, even a small city, of Incas. The sweeping terraces are stunning to look at and are trademark of Inca agriculture that you find all over the Andean countryside. The Incas would grow their crops on the terraces to sustain their mountain-perched city. We decided not to use a guide and set off climbing upwards. It was fairly tough going as the steps were quite high and because it was Saturday there were lots of people going both up and down. We reached the summit of one area and then Gary, Karina and Don went up higher to try and figure out where we could pick up the trail that was supposed to take us back down. They decided we must have gone the wrong way, so we headed back down the way we had come up. Gary and Karina suggested that they really didn’t know where to go so we said we would head back to the parking lot and they would carry on trying to find the trail. We slowly walked back to the parking area and negotiated a price with a taxi driver to take us back down to the Pisac Market in the main square. This is where skilled artisans craft ceramics, textiles, and silver jewelry with Andean motifs, and where indigenous people from surrounding communities come to barter for goods in the local language, Quechua. They say that Sunday is the best time to see the market, but it was certainly interesting even on Saturday. We spent a couple of hours browsing the very large market and finally heard from Gary that they were almost back down off the mountain. As it turned out we made the right decision not to do the hike down. Gary and Karina were exhausted and said it was probably the toughest hike they had done. We found a small restaurant and ordered milkshakes, 3 Mango and 3 Chocolate. Lee took Karina and Judy to buy Christmas tree ornaments and then we wandered back through the market to find Kevin, our driver. The ride back was quiet as everyone was tired.

    We spent the afternoon transferring Gary and Karina’s pictures onto backup memory sticks using Lee’s MacBook computer. Then Gary set up on the large TV so we could see their pictures of our hike from the 104 km on the Inca Trail as well as our tour of Machu Picchu and the 2 hikes in the valley..
    Dinner tonight was cooked by 2 girls, the one who had helped Julian, our chef and another girl. We had a delicious tomato a soup, a beef dinner with rice, potatoes and everything was so good. They also gave us a big pitcher of warm pear juice. We have so much leftover we will have a great breakfast.

    Having our dinners cooked for us has been wonderful and they have all been traditional Peruvian meals. The dishes were all washed for us and we have felt totally spoiled.

    Tonight, we packed our cases as we will leave to go back to Cusco tomorrow morning. It seems a shame we can’t stay a few more days in this beautiful valley and very comfortable house.
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