Today the adventure begins! We boarded our shuttle van and headed for the Urubamba Valley, or the Sacred Valley as it’s now more commonly known. Upon arrival at our river embarkation point we geared up in wetsuits, waterproof jackets and life jackets then boarded the raft. After a quick instructional lecture from our guide we were off. The canyon and views along the river were magnificent. A good portion of the trip was spent gently floating along enjoying the scenery; but, there were a few hairy white water moments…one where we almost lost a couple of people as we plummeted into a “hole.” We spent almost three hours on the river before arriving at our destination – a beautiful home/restaurant on the side of the river that served us a fabulous lunch as our clothes dried in the sun. After lunch we again piled into our shuttle van and headed for Ollantaytamba, a mystical Incan village set in the valley of the mountains.
We toured the ruins with our guide and after checking into our hotel, were left to explore the small village on our own. We got more than we expected here, as the town was in full celebration mode of yet another Catholic Saint day. The action all happened in and around the plaza; hundreds of men, women and children in brightly colored costumes, marching with various small bands parade style around the plaza, intermixed with bands that played throughout the night and into the morning, and firework displays that were close enough to touch…literally.