Sunday, September 4, 2011

Archaeological sites galore!

At 8 a.m. on Friday we started our morning with delicious made-to-order hotel omelettes and we headed out the door at 9 a.m. to go to our first site of our Valle Sagrado (Sacred Valley) tour.  We started out at a site right outside of Cusco.  It consisted of different terraces, walls, plazas, etc.  This blog is going to be a lot of pictures...

Cusco in the background
We then went to Awana Kancha, which was an Alpaca/Llama farm whose main activity is weaving using the Alpaca fur.
Feeding the alpaca


Llama
Then we went to a site outside of Písac, which involved some hiking that I was not really prepared for, but it was still fun and worth the trek.  Plus it's just amazing to see all the terraces and buildings that the Incans built.
Terraces

To the left of teh door you can see the sundial they used.

Incan sofa/throne

Fountain..system to get water
Next stop..the town of Písac in order to eat and use the restroom.  Unfortunately, I had to pay 1 sol (not 1 soul..don't worry) to go to the bathroom, but it was worth it.  I rarely drink water so trying to keep hydrated because of the altitude was different for my body.  Anyway, on to the things that aren't too much information...for lunch I got to try choclo, which is corn here with huge kernels.
Choclo..you eat it by picking the kernels off one at a time
  Then we went to a Chicharía, a place where chicha is made (an alcohol beverage in Peru made of corn).  We got to try two different kinds:  regular chicha and chicha with strawberry and cinnamon.
Sprouted corn kernels (to explain process of production) and both chichas
Then we headed to Ollantaytambo where we went to another site.  We were only there for like an hour or less so we didn't hike it or anything, but the terraces were still pretty cool.

A temple for the water
We then took a train to Aguas Calientes (aka Machu Picchu, aka Machu Picchu Pueblo).  There are so many names because it's been changed.  I spent the train ride re-learning the card game of euchre, which was fun, and I'm pretty sure I was having beginner's luck too.  When we got to town, we checked into our hotel and then I tried Chifa (Peruvian Chinese food) for the first time.  I had tallerín con pollo (noodles with chicken), but also I tried chaufa (fried rice).  Honestly, the chaufa tastes the exact same as in the states.  We then headed to bed because we had a long day at Machu Picchu ahead of us!!

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