|Well, Peru has certainly found the best ways to tke advantage of the tourists. We planned a trip through the "Sacred Valley" which included several Inka sites and other tourist attractions. However, the tour doesnt include the entrance fees, which have to be bought seperatley. However, you cannot buy the ones needed for the tour, you need to buy the complete pack, which is over 100 Sol (30GBP roughly), but we wont have time to visit them all, well done Peru.
Anyways, tickets in hand, we set off at 8.00am for our full day tour. First stop, for some reason was a market selling only tourists goods. We all know the kind of place, tens of stalls sking if you want a necklace, t-shirt or nick-nack. Again, well done Peru, put tourists in a place that has no attraction and tens of places to buy souveniers for half an hour. With that over, the first Inka site.......wait....what!?! Our next stop was a town which sole purpose it seems is to house the biggest market in the sacred valley, which the driver proclaimed adamently! We were starting to wonder what on earth we had paid for? It turned out to be lunch from our next stop, which was a large buffet of what you would expect.
Come 1.00pm we finally reach an Inka site known as Pisac, situated on a medium mountain with two valleys either side. The first picture shows how they used completely man made terraces to grow a variety of crops using the micro climates each terrace provides (a different crop per terrace or two). The graveyard mountain side, just across the way (facing the east, rising sun) was most extraordinary. I wouldnt mind making my underlings huff and puff my corpse and place it in holes on the side of a mountain, at least you knew they cared.
Our next stop was Ollantaytambo, here is the site of a half built temple (before the Spanish made things rather difficult for them) which has impressive half temples. The pics show the size of the rocks/boulders they were hulking around and with all sorts of obstacles such as rivers and Mountains (Seriously, the Egyptions had it easy with huge flat terrains). At least they knew where their priorities lay. On yet another mountain face they built a building to house the brewery, which was situated on an impressive peice of terrain, where the two valleys re-joined into one.
Our finally stop was Chinchero, where we were given a fine display of how they made the clothing from scratch. Including all the women constantly spinning the yarn, washing, dying and of course weaving. It seems the majority of the products are manufactured (including the Jumpers we both bought (made of baby alpaca)) en-masse, but its the thought that counts.
Next stop, Macchupicchu.