Friday, December 04, 2009


"Continuously inhabited for more than 700 years, Ollantaytambo is one of the few settlements that 16th-century Spanish conquistadors had trouble sacking, thanks to its magnificently preserved Incan fortress", writes Paul Brady in an article on the New York Times website(here).

Once out in the Ollaytantambo station we started walking. There were plenty of offers of taxis to be sure, but after sitting for so long I think we both wanted a little exercise.

The empty taxis would always slow down or honk their horns at us to drum up business. I laughed when I saw the dreaded tuk tuk style taxis that are popular in Thailand. I hated these especially because they never have meters, making the fare open to interpretation.

Ice cream apparently makes people in Peru very happy.

Many of the gift shops in the area were these awesome mud hut looking structures. It was exciting to see a bit of Peru that's more rural.

Here I finally got a picture of this little object. I'd been seeing these little bulls and crosses all over the country. Usually they were on the tops of buildings. I couldn't find much about them online, but it's a mix of Catholic and indigenous religion apparently. People pour wine in the little holes as an offering.

This man was maybe the only beggar I gave money to in the whole country. I'm against it in principle, but this guy was blind, playing an instrument, and had a little sign in English. I couldn't resist.

When I saw what we were in town for, I may have said some bad words. My legs were still jell-o from a ton of ruins walking the day before and this place had stone stairs galore. The view of the town below and the ruins on the neighboring mountains was worth it though.

In the US we would probably deck this thing with handrails. If someone slipped on the top step they'd pretty much be hamburger by the time they got to the bottom. You're welcome for that little image.

At least when walking in a real desert, there aren't any stairs.

The ruins.

This was one of those moments. I was walking and doing my tourist thing when all of the sudden the world shows me a few seconds of perfection. It feels a bit like walking into a postcard. There's a bright sun overhead and this cactus on a dusty dry Peruvian cliffside. A bird of prey with wings outstretched was flying so low and directly overhead that I could see its shadow wingspan moving around on the ground in front of me. A prefect little moment.

Once back on the ground, I met these people. I get the feeling that this little group was a bit overdressed in order to attract tourists, but otherwise they were the real deal. Everyone was speaking so fast that I couldn't tell the difference, but Angelica said that one of the little girls was translating Angelica's Spanish into Quechua for the others. I gave the few little coins I had to the woman on the left, sort of assuming she would share the wealth, but one of the little girls later motioned for money so pathetically that I wished I had distributed the money myself.

1 comment:

  1. Machupichu! Machupichu! Machupichu! I was pretty cool. I really like looking at the pictures. where are we going next??!