Saturday, July 16, 2011

Lares Valley Trekking - Day 4 - Ollantaytambo

Woke up at was nice to "sleep in!" It was really cold last night and still cold in the morning as the sun didn't make the valley where we were located. We had pancakes with caramel on top that was an individual drawing for each of us...Persie had a horse, dad had mountains and a lake, mom & Alex had faces, Dylan had a blob and Alan had a "rasta mon."

We started hiking without Jose today as he turned into the driver since Gilmar was assigned to another group. We drove for about an 1/2 hour past the village where the Inca Trail porters traditionally come from..we passed the Aussie group at the beginning of the drive and thought "boy, we're glad we didn't have to walk that whole way!"

We made the "40 minute" ascent in 10 minutes and then kept hiking up for quite a bit. The terrain was quite different from what we had been doing. There were many more trees and bushes as we were below the tree line for the first time in days. There were also a lot of bull cows! There were some really cool Incan waterways that were created so many years ago and are still working perfectly..they were really long and went through all sorts of terrain. As we kept hiking along very flat terrain, we saw many terraced's amazing how much work the people must have put in to create the walls that defined the terraces. We took lots of pictures...hopefully, some will come out!

We finished the hike in two and a half hours even though Alan thought it might take four. After about a five minute wait, Jose and Alex showed up in the van and we took the 10 minute drive to Ollantaytambo and our hotel. We got settled and then had our last lunch prepared by Alex the chef...he had a cold pasta salad that was excellent with some olive oil, salt and pepper. We then bid adios to our guides and took a rest in our was nice to be in beds1

Mom and dad took a walk around town...there are beautiful Incan ruins on the cliffs..this is where the Spaniards lost a battle due to the Incan position on the cliffs and their ingenuity (they flooded the plain to slow down the horses).

After our rest, we walked around town together and then, Mom, Dad and Persie went to the restaurant across the street, played cards, had a couple of beers and were later joined by Alex and Dylan for dinner on the river going through town. At one point there was a wedding party that had a parade that went tried to take some video with his camera, but it probably won't come out.

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