I had really been looking forward to this day – because in the book that we read before the trip about the last days of the Incas, Sacsayhuaman (and Cusco) actually plays a fairly prominent role. From my memory of the book, I believed Sacsayhuaman to be some sort of fortress on a hillside near Cusco that Manco Inca had retreated to when the battle wasn’t going his way. They described three imposing walls that the Spaniards had to overcome. Continue reading
Loco for llamas!
A bit of a transit day today. We packed up and said goodbye to Sol y Luna to head to Cusco. Our first stop was Pisac and a souvenir market. According to Ernesto, this was the first such market to develop in the Sacred Valley. Now there are smaller markets at other locations (we saw one in Ollantaytambo and a few stalls in the town at the foot of Machu Picchu). The guides hosted a fun game for us – they gave each of us 10 soles (roughly 2-3 dollars) to spend at the market. The goal was to get a gift for a white elephant game at our farewell dinner the next night. Neither Derek nor I are very good at bargaining and negotiating, and Derek is also not that good at making decisions like this – so, I have to admit, this task did create some stress… Continue reading
Today was our earliest morning – 5:10 courtesy call to make sure that we were out of bed and 6:10 departure. The travel took some time. We rode our mini-buses to the train station in Ollantaytambo. Boarded Peru Rail to Machu Picchu (about 1.5 hrs):
The weather was much kinder to us this day, as the clouds parted shortly after sunrise and we had bright sunshine all day. In the morning, we headed through Maras to the ruins at Moray. Moray is a location with a series of circular terraces. Apparently there was a natural crater-like indentation here and the Incans, true to their “organic” style of architecture, built around the natural shape of the land. Rudy (our local expert guide) indicated that the terraces at Moray were used as a sort of crop laboratory – the temperature and other conditions varied enough from the top tiers to the bottom, that they would test out different crops at different levels to see which crops would grow best at each “elevation.” Continue reading
The trip had “themes” for each day – Inca-redible was today’s. As a small Disney touch – we were given a pin that corresponded with the theme each day. If you’re a pin-trading aficionado – I’m sure it’s a huge boon. For us – it was cute and nice, but we were glad that this was really the only place that Mickey and friends were introduced into the trip. We selected AbD because of Disney’s reputation for quality, not because we were hoping to see Mickey at the top of Machu Picchu. Continue reading
Early morning – luggage outside room at 6am, board the bus at 7am for a ride to the Jorge Chavez airport to catch a flight to Cusco. 35 people were on our tour – mostly families with kids ranging from 11 to 21. There was one other group of just adults – 4 women from California. The flight was just an hour and because Derek and I have different last names, apparently the airline ticketing agent just couldn’t figure out to sit us next to each other. No worries – this gave us both an opportunity to meet some of our fellow travelers. I had a window seat and the views of the mountains were stunning:
Derek and I recently returned from our trip to Peru. We traveled with Adventures by Disney on their Sacred Valley and Incan Cities trip. It was an amazing trip – one of the most memorable that I’ve been on – the scenery, the ruins, the resorts, the activities, the food, and the company. Continue reading