Thursday, March 13, 2014

Cusco to Ollantaytambo

On January 31, we headed to Ollantaytambo. It's really a pitstop before taking a train to Machu Picchu but we got to see some cool stuff along the way.

Hello Mr. Condor

Shaggy llama

Baby white-tailed deer (I think)

It might not look like it but this was a vicious vicunya - quite territorial

Cross breed alpaca and llama

Paul was terrified of the condor flying straight at us

It was only flying towards the food though

And then we got a picture with it

Getting a lesson on how the wool is dyed

We then headed deeper into the Sacred Valley

The Sacred Valley runs along the Urubamba River 

We stopped in a town called Pisaq on our way to Urubamba to do some shopping at the market. I utilized my negotiating skills to get a few gifts for my niece and nephews. After Pisaq, we headed to our ceramics class.

Yes, we took a ceramics class and no, it was sadly not like the scene in Ghost like I imagined

Paul was oh so excited for the class

Getting his hands dirty

He seemed to enjoy it

Flatten that clay!

I did OK

Getting ready to design some stuff!

My final product, ready for the kiln

Paul's final product ready for the kiln too

With our teacher

Our final pieces would be delivered to our hotel back in Cusco in a couple of days before our flight to Lima. I was excited to see how they would turn out and to be able to have a souvenir from our time in Urubamba. After a buffet lunch, we headed to Ollantaytambo.

Ollantaytambo is a town but it is also an Inca archaeological site

Ollantaytambo terraces

Located almost 2,800 meters above sea level

Pretty view

Hard to capture the terraces

View of the town

Paul is thinking about the Incas

Amazing architecture

Convenient handles


Can't imagine how long it took to build

Comfy seat

Another shot of the terraces

Incas also built those buildings (for storage) on that mountain

A little windy at more than 200 steps up

Heading back down

Looking back up

Another view of the terraces

After a long day, we headed to our hotel. We turned in early so we could get up early for our train to Machu Picchu. An update on our ceramics that we received when we got back to Cusco.

They didn't come out too great


Sadly, we had to throw our ceramics away. It wasn't worth carrying since they were a bit heavy and really, what would I do with burnt ceramics? I'm glad to say though that I just sent these photos and feedback to the travel company we used, Latin America for Less, and they are crediting us the cost of the ceramics class. Finally, after 27 countries, some customer service!


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