Day 3 – 5/24 – Sacred Valley

I´m going to make this short and add more details later, since I´m on public computer at dialup speed.  Also, I posted some photos of Lima in my photo gallery. 

3:30AM – We had to catch a 6.40AM flight to Cusco, so it was another early day for us.  Our travel guide was supposed to arrive at 4AM, but was a no-show.  At 4:30AM, Alice called the travel agency’s 24-hour number and woke Maricel up. She called the driver and verified that he would be there shortly.

5:00AM – Kuzy and William finally arrived to take us to the airport. There was a mix up in the schedule where our itinerary had the wrong pickup time. We could have had an extra hour of sleep!

6:40AM – Alice and I took our altitude sickness medication when we boarded the plane, and when we arrived in Cusco, we didn´t feel any different.  So maybe the medication worked. 

7:45AM – Natalie and Ganita picked us up from the airport and took us from Cusco to Sacred Valley. As the name would suggest, Sacred Valley is at a much lower elevation than Cusco. This should help Alice and I to get acclimated to the elevation.

9:00AM – Our first destination was a weaving factory where they had live llamas and alpacas for us to feed and pet.  We also got to see the native Peruvians at work. They would dye the baby llama wool using only natural igredients. At another station, there would be a Peruvian woman weaving the wool into blankets and clothing. Each item would have intricate designs that were indicative of their tribe.

10:00AM – Our next stop was the ancient Incan ruins at the town of Pisac. A hike to the top offered a nice view of the valley. On the hillside on the north end of the ruins was a gravesite. Holes that grave robbers dug could be seen from across the gorge.

11:45AM – We got dropped off at the Pisac market. We were only supposed to stay for half an hour, but wound up staying for an hour and fifteen minute. Alice went to town and bought a whole bunch of souvenirs, including a little llama, STUFFED. 

2:00PM – We had lunch at a Peruvian buffet and drank Coca tea for the first time.  Coca tea is supposed to help with altitude sickness, and it tasted pretty good. 

3:30PM – Our next stop was at the Ollantaytambo Ruins. On one side of the fortress ruins sre agricultural terraces. On the other side of the gorge are storage houses where food would have been stored. The high mountain winds served as a method of refrigeration for the Incas.

5:00PM – We checked into the Pakaritampu Hotel and finally got to take a nap!  Boy were we tired. 

7:00PM – We had dinner at the hotel restaurant.  Alice tried alpaca, and I decided to order tenderloin and chicken kebabs (just in case the alpaca wasn´t what we expected).  The alpaca wasn´t bad at all.  It actually tasted like lamb chops, but without the aftertaste. 

additional information added on 5/29/2007

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