ADVENTURES IN THE SACRED VALLEY ON THE WAY TO AGUA CALIENTE
05.07.2016 - 23.07.2016 24 °C
I am writing from Agua Caliente, the town that is the base for visiting Machu Picchu. It is a bit of dumpy little town but I am sure it exists simply to serve the ruins. It doesn’t matter at all because we have arrived here after a spectacular day in the Sacred Valley with the most amazing views.
Our guide for the Machu Picchu portion of our tour, Elvis (self-described as the king of the mountain) is wonderful. He is so knowledgeable and is really taking care of us. He joined us 8 am this morning in Cusco and we set off to visit the Sacred Valley. First we had the panoramic views from above.
Then we traveled on to the town of Pisac set right in the valley where we first visited the Pisac archeological site, the largest Inca ruins in the area. The views were amazing as were the terraces where are built layer by layer dragging soil from around the region so that each layer had a difference quality of soil for growing various produce. Very impressive.
The we went to the famous Pisac market for a few purchases. This was a lovely market and 40 minutes was hardly enough but we had a train to catch. I loved all the colours and the group of school children who came by walking hand and hand in pairs.
As we were making our way to our lunch stop, we went through the town most famous for its guinea pig farms and it had tons of road side stalls. Our guide suggested this was the best place to try it and explained it was his favorite dish. I can’t say it is ours but we bought one just to have a taste. When in Rome right? Isaac was asked the question in the title.
We fit in one more set of Inca ruins, Ollantaytambo, before heading to the train. This was a steep climb and if it is an indication of our ability to breathe going uphill, tomorrow’s climb of Machu Picchu will be a slow one.
The train ride was perfect. The views were amazing riding through the mountain ranges and the train had windows in the roof so you could really see everything. They even served us coffee and a sandwich.
So here we are, ready to face another world UNESCO site and one that has been on my bucket list for a long time. We are both well. The dry air is killer and you feel short of breath quickly when walking uphill but otherwise feel as normal as we get. We are definitely feeling some effects of the altitude. Isaac has been reporting intermittent numbing of the mouth, nose, and hands since we got to Cusco which is apparently normal and nothing to worry about. Just the body adjusting. Today, I had the numb hand and later the bottom of my foot. It is the strangest thing. But again, completely normal.
The weather was amazing today. Hope that keeps up. Better than home, I hear.
The wifi is even worst at this hotel so I am off to see if I can find some better wifi over dinner.