Ian & Claire's Adventure
Pisac After getting bored of Cusco we decided to read the guide book again and realised that there is a lovely place to visit out at the start of the Sacred valley to the north. Pisac is renowned for its market and Inca ruins. We headed out on thurday to catch one of the bigger market days, sunday being the largest and arrived just a few hours later for the princley sum of 2S/ each. After we had checked into Hostal Beho (see photos) and had mistaken the gallery owner next door for the owner (because he was helpful and spoke English), we checked out the market. Its the best craft market we have seen and far better than the shops in Cusco. There were loads of fantastic rugs(of which we couldnt help ourselves, we managed to barter from 280 to 120s/, god knows how we'll get it home) and throws as well as the usual Alpaca hats, gloves and everything. Claire spotted a great ring on one of the stalls but as usual couldn't fit it on her finger. Everything here is made to Peruvian sizes so none of the clothes have arms long enough and everything is too small. The same woman runs a shop in Cuso too so we may head back there. We had lunch in a bizarre cafe called Ulrika's where the poepel who worked there were all nuts and were shrley vallentine types. We reallised later in the evening that other than the market, there is nothing else at all to do in Pisac. We thought we minght get a peaceful nights sleep until we were woken up at 6.30 am by a combination of crap church bells (which ring at 6.40 and everyhour for 10 minutes with no tune), fireworks which only seemed be set off at 7am am th hostal Cockeral. Afetr breakfast we visited teh local baker to get some Empanadas for lunch. (bread filled with cheese and onions baked there and then in a large clay oven). This was next to the guinea pig castle to encourage peopel to buy grilled Cuy. (it seemes to do the opposite I can assure you). Next we headed straight up the hill towards the Pisac ruins high on the canyon side. The first 200m nearly killed Claire and we started having doubts over teh Macchu Picchu treck to come. She Had stabbing pains in her chest almost straight away. The altitiude and cold seems to be taking its toll a lot, definitely a visit to the doctors when we're back in Cusco to see if she has a chest infection or lung problems or something. All said ,with rests we made in a decent time and the views on the way up of the Inca terracing and Sacred valley were stunning. After reaching the first few watch towers we eventually reached what we thought was the main Inca site until some fellow round the world travellers told us otherwise. We had lunch over looking the site and then another 20 minutes over the hills found us alonside two more of the major ruins. They were interesting and had spectacular views but there wasn't much to do when you actually got them. Nothing else to do but to head back the way we came. We did find a short cut on the way down by way of the forth ruin (Max and Jenny we'll let you know the short cut ). At Pisac we found all the restaurants were shut apart fromn one, where we ate trout which was nice, then had an early night as we planned to set off early. Again after a rude awakening from the artificial dawn chorus, we grabbed some more Empanardas, dodged the bull walking down the street on its own, and jumped on the crowded bus to Tambo Machay, we stood all the way then clambered off, went off to see the ruins next to us, then walked back and realised we had been at the wrong ones (they were actaully paco pacambo), the boleto touristico bloke clipped our tickets and we walked up to a vaguely interesting site with waterfalls(Tambo Machay). We walked back down the dusty path, and along the road back to Cusco, on the way some kids sang us a song so we gave them a sol to fight over, which ended in big brother running off with the money and the little one screaming and chasing him....oops. We came very soon to a sign for Sacsawayman which confused us as we were expecting Q'Enca first. To our good judgement (not the other gringoes in front of us) we carried on and found ourselves at Q`Enco, a more bizarre place, luckily the people who had payed for a guide were English and French so we learned for free that this was a sacrificial Inca Temple, Big stone mound, lots of tunnels and steps, apparently where the blood would drip down, nice! We sat and had lunch, in the lovely sun (not used to the low altitude and hot weather which was greating us from Pisac onwards). We then walked over to Sacsawayman, this place is great to see and very peaceful as its so big, the huge Jesus statue looking out over Cusco. We finally got back down to Cusco, headed straight for the SAS office where they assured us being very slow on the inca trail wasnt a problem, guess we'll just have to see. Off to book back into our nice hostal and to Bagdad cafe for lasagna burritos and good music.