Little did we know that only 15km (as the condor flies or 45 minutes by car) from Cusco, there is a whole other world – the Sacred Valley. It is considerably warmer than Cusco, right at the base of the Andes and the location of spectacular ruins. Cusco was the capital of the empire, but the Sacred Valley had to have been where the Incas went to collect their thoughts. We drove over on Easter Sunday stopping on the way in Chinchero, a market town.
View from Chinchero.
Overflow crowd on Easter.
Sunday Market in Chinchero.
Bartering for household goods on Easter Sunday.
Alvaro watched the Super Bowl from Chinchero. Bill was honored to be allowed to wear his hat.
Yummy – although most of it ended up on the ground.
View down into the Sacred Valley.
View down into Urubamba
The Andes come crashing down into this gorgeous and verdant narrow valley. In each outcropping one can experience pareidolia (i.e. seeing images of animals or faces in natural phenomena). The Incas certainly did and then further carved the mountains with terracing and structures to accentuate their vision – all of which helped them make sense of their world.
Tunupa, the pilgrim preacher of knowledge and the master knower of time.
The temple to the left appears to be located to catch sunlight on the summer solstice. The buildings on the right were for storage of food.
Behind us is Pinkuylluna, sacred mountain with head of Tunupa and temple buildings connected during the summer solstice.
The Celestial Llama – a constellation just beneath the Southern Cross
At the location of her eye, are four sided liturgical founts, part of the Sun Temple.
Remaining walls at the Temple of the Sun, and the llamas nose.
A partial view from the left of the Condor guarding the valley at Pisac.
Artists view of the Condor.
At the top of Pisac
Terracing on right side of Condor.
Over 300 terraces.
We are staying in the middle of the Sacred Valley, about 2 km outside of Urubamba at K’uychi Rumi (Rainbow Stone in Quechua), a wonderful retreat of cottages strung together on a trail of hummingbird gardens. We were a little concerned about how we would get around in the immediate area until we discovered MOTO TAXIS, the motorcycle three wheeled transportation of choice.
Che and Batman working together in Peru
Eye yi yi, we love these Mototaxis, their individuality and creativity in metal and vinyl.
DJ Pachamama, the mythological earth and time goddess of the Incas.
Ninos in Pisac loved playing in the mototaxi trunk.
hanging inside the windsheild is a veritable Christmas tree of ornaments and idols.
Each owner personalizes their mototaxi vinyl design slipped and strapped to a metal skeleton….note the rear spoiler.
moto, moto, moto madness.
Bill designing in his head his mototaxi for Burning Man.
Even with the convenience of Moto Taxis, K’uychi Rumi was hard to pull ourselves away from.
Quinoa growing in the garden
Bill really wants a fireplace like this.
Chocolate, Torgar (“Spot” in Quechua) and a very old Great Dane/St. Bernard mix outside our front door in the morning
Chocolate getting a bit more loving.
Next week is our big hike to Machu Pichu, so we have tried to keep in practice. Everything is just a little bit steeper here – or so it seems.
My technique for getting up steep inclines is to stay as close to the ground as possible!
The south facing slopes of the valley are like our Southwest
Saltflats of Maras have been used since the time of the Incas.
It’s thought that these terraces carved into a connected series of naturally formed bowls were used to develop varieties of corn adapted to higher elevations.
We think the artist Andrew Goldsworthy must have been here too.
Cacti growing at the top of Moray
Bill practicing for the Andes
Next week – The Andes
We are headed back to Cusco for one night to meet up with the group we are hiking with and then take off on Sunday. We’ll be back in Cusco a week later.