Leaving Lima and exploring Sacred Valley

Our time was up soon so we used some of our free time to pop into a little shopping area or probably what we might call a mini mall. We would be back in Lima before the conclusion so our visit was just to see what they had. What struck me was how colorful the garments and other souvenirs were. We looked at the colorful table cloths, hats, bags etc.

There is a feeling of constant festivity. As we drove along passing this park there was a lot of activity as if playing games or having a picnic and there was a decorated tree with what looked like toys or gifts.

Example of the zunya tree will discus this picture later

These trees full of gifts are zunya trees and is a staple part of carnivals/festivals and any kind of celebration in Peru. Eventually the tree is chopped down and the gifts are retrieved. Before leaving Lima the view below shows the winding Urubamba River which meanders through the country. More about the river later.

Our flight to Cuzco was uneventful, being in Cuzco might offer challenges to some because of the elevation 11,152 feet above sea level. It was suggested that there is a special tea that we can drink that will help with the unstable equilibrium one can experience because of the elevation. I did not drink the tea as I thought I was fine but walking from my hotel room to the bus on a level ground I felt a bit off balance. At first I did not realize it was because of the change. Taking frequent sips of water worked for me and that was the end of my issues.

We were off to Ollantayambo village to visit the ollantayambo ruins which is an ancient Inca Temple. In the village you are able to see ancient markings and structures on the hillside. This town has cobbled streets with flowing water along the roadside. Not really sure about the use of that water. The place was very clean and we observed a man hand sweeping along the cobbled pathway.

Cleaning man

Let me take you inside an area with shops for the want of a better name “mini shopping mall”.

Each of those thatch like roof buildings was a store. There were some goods displayed outside in some instances

Inside these stores were used for sleeping, cooking, selling goods and keeping guinea pigs ( cuy) a staple in Peru. Serving cuy (guinea pig) is an honor. Not only is this store used for the above mentioned but there is a section like a shrine with different objects (tools, food, religious objects etc.)

While some of our group took the hike up , some of us stayed on a lower level of the ruins. It was suggested that we carry canes to help us navigate the uneven stone pathways. Of course we got some mangoes and enjoyed while the others endured the pelting sun heat.

One of the treats our guide arranged for us was to take a ride around the town in a rickshaw. To be continued.

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