Dia 5-7 - Machu Picchu, Pisaq y mucho mas
Updated: Sep 13, 2018
Our weekend was packed full of adventures of so many different kinds. On Friday, we travelled to Aguas Calientes via Ollantaytambo. In Ollantaytambo, some of the group visited the ruins while others explored the town. From there we took a beautiful train ride to Aguas Calientes, the town nearest Machu Picchu. We visited the hot springs, ate our first Peruvian meal out as a whole group, and slept comfortably in our lovely hotel. Saturday morning, we woke up at 4:30am to get an early start at Machu Picchu. There, we hiked to the Sun Gate where we saw amazing views of the ruins and the surrounding mountains. After, we hiked down to meet our guide who led us through the ruins and told us the history of this beautiful land.
Later that day, we returned to Ollantaytambo by train and took a bus to Pisaq. We had a late dinner and went straight to bed at Celeste's Airbnb. In the morning we had the most delicious breakfast before heading out on a hike to Kinsa Cocha. We were led through the land by an Andean woman and her daughter. They easily scaled the hills while most of our group slowly made our way up and over the uneven ground. The hike was breathtaking. At nearly 15,000 feet the air was thin and the surroundings were nearly silent.
Our hike ended at the home of this Andean community. They welcomed us into their home with music and necklaces made with kantu, Peru's national flower. They fed us a generous meal including cuy, which is usually served for celebrations and special occasions. After we ate, they dressed us in their traditional clothing and demonstrated their weaving craftwork. The women create intricate woven pieces, starting with the raw wool, turning that into thread, dying it, and weaving all sorts of products with it; blankets, clothing, jewelry, and more.
We were reluctant to leave this generous community and Pisaq in general. Pisaq is quite different from Cusco. It is quieter, more rural, and is home to a large artist community. But with more work to do in Cusco, we returned Sunday evening to continue our projects with the students at Camino Nuevo.