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Sacred Valley

Written on: Saturday August 18th, 2007

A journal entry from: Bolivia, Peru, and the Galapagos!

We spent one night in Cuzco before setting out for a tour of the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Most of the crops in the area are grown in this valley where the Urubamba River flows. Many of the hills that form the valley walls have Inca terraces built into them (as well as various Incan ruins).

Our first stop was a small weaving cooperative where the local women were learning how to weave textiles in the traditional manner starting from shearing the alpacas, making the threads, dieing the threads with native plants, and weaving them into textiles. I finally cracked here and decided to buy one of their textiles (after all, they were handmade by the women and not in some factory).

Next stop was the ruins of Pisac (PEE-sack). This is the first of many Incan ruins that we were given the chance to explore. Then about an hour down the road we stopped for lunch at an hacienda. For $8US, we had the most fantastic buffet lunch (including dessert!) seated outside under a gazebo. I don't remember the name of the place though... sigh...

Our final stop was the city of Ollantaytambo (ol-yawn-TIE TOM-bow) whose main attraction is some Incan ruins. Also, apparently the streets are the original ones laid out by the Incas. This town was also home to the only outdoor market I'd seen yet that sold exclusively colorful tacky textile goods.