09.24.2008 - 09.26.2008
By the time we awoke in the early evening, the sun was going down in Pisac. How strange and amazing it is to wake up in what feels like a different world. After downing some medicine and emergen-c (neither of us were feeling wonderful), we took in the charm of the Pisac Inn. The Inn is located on the main square of Pisac, where the valleys biggest market is held. After walking through the entry and bar area, you step into an open air area with many colors, beautiful tables of diffent shapes and sizes for the restaurant or simply lounging, flowers and plants surrounding and many other quaint and beautiful pots and other decorations. The rooms line this inner area on the ground level and along a balcony upstairs. There is also an upper eating area and a balcony overlooking the main square. It was simply lovely. I enjoyed some pumpkin cream soup (really yummy) for dinner at the inn and we headed back to bed shortly after that.
On our second day in Pisac, we headed out the door and straight into the market. It was quickly learned that shopping in the market requires a patience for pushy people. There are hundreds of booths set up and upon walking by each one, the seller runs over and begins basically handing over items you may want to buy. Though this was tiring, the market was surely something to take in with bright colors of hats, ponchos made of llama, jewelry with unique colors and materials, multiple colors of maize and so much more. We took a break from the market to eat at a reccommended restaurant on the square where we had, though this will sound strange, the best hawaiian pizza I have ever had. I also had a banana, papaya mango juice, which was simply scrumptious. After a little more shopping and taking in a little more of Pisac, we chose to relax for the evening and get another night of good sleep.
The next day, we had a driver take us through one side of the sacred valley. We traveled first to Urubamba, where we stopped at Ceramica Seminaria. This ceramics studio has been in the town for decades, producing beautiful and colorful pottery, becoming so well known over time that they have a contract with Pier 1 Imports. We browsed the pottery, a little garden and saw a little monkey before heading on to Ollantaytambo. We had a guide give us a tour of the ruins in Ollantaytambo. It was so incredible to climb 200 steps up these ruins and peer across the valley at the mountainside where many of the stones for the structure came from. It seems almost impossible that the Incas could have created such places. They are magnificent. I would love to write more about this place, but I fear this blog will become a novel...
After eating lunch at a wonderful restaurant along the Urubamba river, we took the train from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes. The train ride was absolutely breathtaking, passing small villages where fields of corn and other crops blanketed available landscape and jagged peaks shot up in the background. We arrived in Aguas and managed to find our hotel by asking locals for directions. A couple from Canada who we had seen on the train were staying at the same hotel and thanks to the guide they had with them, we joined them and purchased our Machu Picchu entrance tickets and bus tickets for the morning. Then, we joined them for a lovely dinner and piece of birthday cake for Jen. Valerie, the woman from Canada, was an artist and we had an inspiring conversation about art. We walked back to the hotel in the moist, warm air and fell asleep swiftly, with anticipation of the day ahead.