We arranged the Sacred Valley day tour on day one. The tour was quite cheap, only 20 soles (7 USD) which included transportation and an English speaking guide.
Before hopping on a coach bus, we had to exchange some more soles. There were many foreign exchange shops around Plaza de Armas. We quickly picked one since we only had 5 minutes before the bus departed. But sometimes rushing is not a good idea. As we got on the bus, one of our travel buddies found out the FX shop had shorted her about
30 soles (12 USD). So always count your money twice!
Our first stop was a small market in the town of Pisac. They specialized in clay goods. The stop was short, only 15 minutes before the tour guide herded us back on the bus "C'mon, Canada."
Along the way, our tour guide explained the mountain range were considered sacred to the Inca people. The river that ran through these mountain ranges was the sacred river. Hence the name of this region: sacred valley.
The second stop was another market, silver market. We only had 20 minutes in this market. But you can't drop a kid in the candy shop and expect him/her to come out in 20 minutes. I could've spent an entire day there. In an blink of an eye, we were called back to the bus "C'mon, Canada".
The next stop was the ruins of Pisac. Pisac was a town of where the farmers and architect lived. It was a middle class village. The Inca people buried their dead along the side of the mountain cliff. I wonder how they were able to dig a hole and put the body in it along these steep mountain sides. The Inca people also believed they lived three lives. One in heaven, earth and under world. Like the Egyptians they mummified the body, but in the fetal position, so they can be born into the next life.
Our fourth stop was Ollantaytambo, the new capital of the sacred valley. On the top, there was a granite stone that was said to be the temple of the sun since it faced the exact direction of the sun rise. However, unlike the other sun temples which are round, this one was not which drew speculation that this was not the sun temple at all. The temple granite was shipped in from the other side of the mountain 7 km away. The large stone pieces were put on logs and rolled to it's finally destination. The temple was once decorated with puma carvings. But during the Spanish invasion, the heads were cut off and now only the faint silhouette of the animal was left.
Across from the temple, was a mountain where the Incas did a lot of worshipping. Probably due to this side profile of what appeared to be an Inca god. They also built an llama shaped terrace and structure on this mountain to mimic the llama consolation in the sky. This area was considered the centre of the Inca world.
Across from the temple, was a mountain where the Incas did a lot of worshiping. Probably due to this side profile of what appeared to be an Inca god. They also built an llama shaped terrace and structure on this mountain to mimic the llama consolation in the sky. This area was considered the centre of the Inca world.
Our last stop was Chencharo. Much of the indigenous styled textile was produced here. Today these people still uses all natural ingredients to process and dye the llama or wool threads and then wave them into beautiful blankets and other products.
Our day ended in a lovely Peruvian sunset.
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