Going Andean

The Mountain, the People and the Way of Life

One of the things I was looking forward to before coming to Peru is to see a lot of colors and cultures. I was never let down by the people of the Andes.

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 Sacred Dream Lodge, hidden in the mountains of the Urubamba Valley.

After a long an tiring day from Machu Picchu to Urubamba and a few transportations miscommunication between me and the hotel, I woke up to the bright sunlight and the cool morning at one of the best hotels I have ever stayed at, the Sacred Dream Lodge – It is hidden away from town into the mountains. The way to get there was rather rough but the view and the place was extremely rewarding.

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 Looking up to my room from the hotel ground.

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Some of the many blooming flowers on the hotel ground.

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The restaurant of the hotel is super lovely but the food is expensive! ($18 for a grilled river trout!)

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Breakfast is the most important meal of the day whereever you are, especially while traveling.

I liked Diomidas (my driver on my first day of the visit in the valley) a lot as a driver who could drive me around, I made a deal with him for 140 Soles to drive me around all day to visit Pisac Ruins, Pisac Market and a the town of Chinchero. I asked him to come pick me up at 9.30 but he missed it by 20 minutes, which was undersandable because the hotel was so hard to find! So all set and ready, off we went!

We drove eastward toward the first stop of the day, the Pisac Ruins – it was quite a big ruin that looks over the Urubamba Valley, the 45 min drive on a very good road was very pleasant – passed through a couple of small towns along the way

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The view of the valley from Pisac Ruins.

The Pisac ruins is somewhat similar to the ruins in Ollantaytambo except that this one is more vast and less maintained. The entrance fee to the ruin is included in the Turistico Boleto so if you have one, you might as well do it if you have time. This ruins also have Inca tombs (more or less like big holes in the mountain). I think it is worth a visit if you go there for Pisac Market anyway.

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The entrance to the ruins with an Andean woman in her traditional costume, I think she is a souvenir seller with all those stuff in her kaperina.

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A fragile yet strong soul. We can be beautiful and strong in a harsh environment.

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View of the ruins with its common agricultural terraces.

After walking around for a while, dark clouds moved in and poured down torrential rain. The weather in the valley changed so fast. Good thing I ran back to the car before I got all wet. We then drove down to the town of Pisac where the artisanal market is. Since the big market is usually on Sundays and Thursdays, there was not a lot going on although it was a Thursday because it was Christmas day. I was a little disappointed as I was looking forward to the market but I managed to see some stores and fortunately, I saw a brief ceremonial celebration on Christmas day at a church in town.

Peru 82Women dressed in their traditional dresses and kaperinas in front of a church.

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Kaperina works wonder, the Andean women are so good with their multi-purpose wrap cloth. On a side notes, Peruvian babies are so cute!

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Pisac market in action.

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A stark contrast between the old and the new.

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Another candid scene from the street.

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I love the color combination.

After driving back to Urubamba, we stopped at a buffet restaurant (Inka House) to get some food before we moved to Chinchero. The driver recommended the place and it was super touristy and of course, he got paid for taking me there. I was so upset about it but I did not want to let it bother me too much.

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The Age of Innocence. Sometimes I wish I did not have to grow up.

It was a Christmas Thursday so there was no market which also means not man y tourists. Chinchero is a small town which is famous for its artisanal market and the ruin. It was a lazy day so I took the time to walk around, visited the ruins and the church and the houses nearby.

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The Chinchero Iglesia courtyard.

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One generation to another.

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The beautiful wall mural on the outside wall of the Chinchero Iglesia.

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Traditional roof symbol.

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 Lovely Peruvian children

After walking around quite a bit, I asked Deomidas to bring me to a market. He brought me to a textile center that was owned and operated by local women. It was definitely geared toward tourists but I still found it quite charming.

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Local woman demonstrating how to make dye from local plants.

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The beautiful textile pattern that represents the treasures of the Andes, the triangles represent the peaks and hills of the Andes.

The day ended at about 5 pm, Diomidas took me back to the Sacred Dreams Lodge and we bid farewell. I did have a great time with him – very nice, responsible and practice safe driving. I cannot recommend him enough – too bad that I lost his phone number. Until next time!

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Chao!

Til next time!

XOXO,

Fon

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