Ollantaytambo and the Sacred Valley

Sunday 3 july 
Promptly at 8am we headed off in our tourist bus for the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Arrived to see the usual, groups of tourists, each with a guide and heading up or somewhere along the terraces in Ollantaytambo. Beautifully restored. 



Terraces, stairs, strange walls with trapezoid niches and doorways and finally, the purported start of the sun temple. I say ‘purported’ as it’s largely conjecture. 

By this stage we were getting into group photos. Poor Desnada! She had to take one of the group again. No, not one but one with each of six cameras. We are going to rationalise it! 


Two Incan brother kings started fighting, minions were called up from building sites and everywhere else, to fight. And the Spanish arrived, managed to divide and conquer, not forgetting their considerable betrayal of the remaining Incan King. So, the workers never finished this site. As you can see, the so called sun temple was in the early stages. Very early!

Ollantaytambo is in a beautiful river valley. Huge hills/mountains up all sides. Lots growing on more recent terraces below.


And the village itself: water flows through the streets in Incan canals.


Up one hill you can see more storage, high up in the windy section to help preserve it. Reached by a steep winding track from the town below.


Accha Alta – weaving site

Next, the weaving place. Not a town but a contrived little place where weavers congregate for tourists. The sort of situation I hate, absolutely hate. Human zoo stuff. But, it offers people who live considerably higher than Cusco, well above the level where things grow, a means of economic survival. 

Men and women work at the weaving. The men just need to stand around a little more. 



Forget the pension! You may appear old at 68 but you will still be contributing!

And you will have started young. Be it keeping fires going to enable the boiling of wool with the natural dies or starting weaving.

The clothes, the hats, everything, is fascinating. Still, not sorry to leave there.

So, a great day. Head off tomorrow to join the Incan trail, to Machu Picchu. 

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