Last weekend we did one of those all-in-one day bus tours of the Sacred Valley, which took us to three cities with different Inca ruins to visit. We had a tour guide, who talked far too much, and provided us with little information. Really it’s kind of a guessing game as to what the Incas used these different places for. There are several theories out there to choose from – we decided to just enjoy the scenery and marvel at the construction, no matter it’s intended purpose.
First stop was the ruins at Pisac, up on the hilltop.
After the ruins, we went down the hill to the Pisac market, which comes to life on Sunday afternoons. It’s tucked into the town square, and you can see mountains peeking over every booth.
The market is surrounded by little restaurants, like this one. A picnic table, pot of hot food, and willingness to serve is all you need to be a restaurant around here.
While I tend to enjoy these types of market by taking loads of photos, John enjoys them by eating street food. He loves it. Cheap, fast, and authentic. He started with a glass of chicha, a beverage made from purple corn. Then he moved on to an ear of giant corn with cheese and green chili sauce, known as choclo con queso. (Yes, it really is giant corn. The kernels are probably 2-3 times the size of corn you are used to.)
After that, he headed to one of those picnic table style restaurants for some chicken and potatoes. The day’s feast was finished off with a pork kebab topped with a roasted potato. (In all fairness, the kebab did come later in the day.) I enjoyed a cheese and cucumber sandwich that I had packed at home instead. I’m just not as adventurous as he is.
Next, Ollantaytambo for more beautiful Inca ruins.
Check out the face in the mountain on the right. It’s supposedly an Inca god who protects the crop storehouses, which you can also see carved into the mountain.
Last stop of the day was Chinchero, where Inca ruins were used as the base for a colonial church.
The last Inca ruins we have left to visit is of course the most anticipated – Machu Picchu. We head out to see that on Monday!