Getting There - Aneel's Travelogue

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Hiking Pisac, Cuzco, Peru, Saturday, 19 March 2005 8:52pm

First day hiking at altitude. It went pretty well.

We left Cuzco in the morning by taxi. Unfortunately (?) the taxi driver was confused about our destination. He drove us to Urubamba, a town near the west end of the Sacred Valley below Cuzco. Only when he asked for the name of our hotel did he realize we were supposed to go to Pisac, near the east end.

The road to Pisac from Cuzco should take 30min. The road to Urubamba from Cuzco takes an hour and a half, and then it's another 45min from Urubamba to Pisac. We did have a picturesque drive through the Sacred Valley, so the extra time wasn't wasted.

We dropped off our luggage in Pisac, had lunch (I ate too much. The soup I was expecting to be a light appetizer turned out to be enough for a meal), and started the walk up to the Pisac ruins.

The stonework, particularly at the Intihuatana sun temple is impressive, especially considering the fact that the Incas had no iron tools. There are lots of perfectly-fitted stone blocks (no mortar used), and the corners are softly curved.

It was starting to drizzle by the time we got to that temple, but we decided to press forward through the tunnels ahead. The Incas were short. The tunnel was certainly wide enough, but I had to crouch the whole way through.

We took a wrong turn and went to the Q'alla Q'asa ruins. We were noticed by some locals who were tending to livestock. One, a young warrior no doubt, charged towards us yelling a fearsome Quechua warcry: "Compra! Compra! Compra! Bandas para sus sombreros!" (rough transliteration). Luckily, we were able to take refuge in the ruins. Surely, we avoided being rent limb from limb by the narrowest margin.

We got back to town before the drizzle turned into a downpour.

Inka Kola: tastes just like it does in the States. Slightly bubble-gummy. Dave seems to love it.

Nectarin Pina: light pineapple flavor, but not overpowering. The best unusual soda I've found so far.

Nectarin Manzana: sweet, not sour apple flavor, also light. Pleasant. I thought the bottle was green, but it turned out to be the drink.