Monday, May 07, 2012

Ollantaytambo, Peru: The Sacred Valley

Ollantaytambo (O-yen-tie-tambo) is not just any idyllic town with magnificent inca ruins, it is, quite exceptionally, a living town - where you can imagine life being carried out centuries ago and the people, as the embodiment of their inca and quechua ancestors.

possible to be so cute and so beautiful?

Established as part of the inca empire in the 15th c, Ollantaytambo was the royal estate of Emperor Pachacútec who built it as a ceremonial center. At the time of the conquest, it served as a stronghold for the inca resistance to kick spanish boot-tay!

Today, buses clog narrow stone alleys by midday  - unloading visitors on day trips or the brave few who will start the three-day hike here aka the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.

For me, Ollantaytambo reminds me of the vietnamese proverb: an duoc ngu duoc la tien - eat well, sleep well, and you will have the luck of fairies. It is one of those less traveled gems - a sacred place to recover, reflect and renew. My belly and spirit loved it. My ears will miss the mellifluous slack and babble of running water and my eyes, those vanilla ice cream capped mountain peaks. Surely, I will be back for another taste!

twilight illuminating incan storages
 from the top of the ruins, view of the town below
gift of inca irrigation: water flows in streets and pathways
pinch me, we are 9,160 ft above sea level!
sopa de zapallo - the silk of calabaza / pumpkin soup in your mouth
trucha (trout) with andean potatoes and veggies
the best trout you will ever taste - open up for a succulent nibble
no weathervanes in the scared valley only clay oxen's protecting la casa
the curious neighbor in back of the hotel
2 tone choclo (both natural and morada) - andean corn laid out to dry
nothing like a nice alpaca steak - gamey like venison. i crave it :)

oh, just another 15th c door way...
lovely, beautiful, wish you were here!
what do the coca leaves predict?


Arturo said...

The coca leaves predict a safe journey South.

White Shell Girl said...

hahahaha excellent prediction arturo :)))


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