Ascending the Andes

Today, March 26th, we left Lima to fly into the Andes.  We landed in Cusco, which was formerly the center of the entire Incan empire. At over 11,000 feet, the Andes at this altitude take some getting used to, even for experienced skiers like us.  Luckily, the locals are prepared for how common this problem is, so there are vendors selling coca candies, and we immediately boarded a bus to drive to Urubamba. everywhere you go, you are also offered tea made from coca to combat altitude sickness.  It’s not narcotic, but weirdly, does seem to really help cut the worse affects of altitude sickness (which for us, is usually just a heavy-duty headache).

After about a two hour journey to our wonderful eco-lodge called Sol y Luna, Sol y Luna Resort

Sol y Luna resort
Sol y Luna resort

we left to visit our first Incan monument, the fortress at Ollantaytambo.  As we drove, we could see the giant valley the Incas called the Sacred Valley with the Urubamba river running through it.

Urubamba River
Urubamba River

The town of Ollantaytambo is an ancient one, with the current houses and businesses all still standing atop their Incan stone foundations.  The terraced fortress site was amazing, and you could not help but wonder about the advanced civilization that built it!

Ollantaytambo  In the Sacred Valley

Ollantaytambo  In the Sacred Valley

Ollantaytambo  In the Sacred Valley

Yes, Jim and I actually hiked about 2/3 up these stone terraces to get a better view of the Sacred Valley.  The things I’ll do to catch the shot even amaze me sometimes!

OllantaytamboOllantaytambo  In the Sacred Valley

Ollantaytambo  In the Sacred Valley

Ollantaytambo  In the Sacred Valley

OllantaytamboOllantaytambo

Ollantaytambo

Ollantaytambo

Ollantaytambo

Dance Show at Sol y Luna honoring the Incan gods

After we had our fill of Ollantaytambo and its marvels, we returned to our lodge for a show about the spirit world of the Incas and a fine dinner. Tomorrow, Machu Picchu!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s