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Border-line Illusions Part 3 - Ollantaytambo -Temple of the Sun.
Ollantaytambo (Temple of the Sun)
The Ruins of Ollantaytambo
Ollantaytambo was about 40 miles, NW from Cusco. The drive was long with windy roads going through many small towns and had plenty of great views along the way. I only wish I had a better camera about now so I could capture the scenes that rushed by during this trip.
Ollantaytambo - the royal estate of Emperor Pachacuti
Today, (the 6th of Nov.) we are in a bit of a hurry because we needed to catch the right train, to get to Machu Pichu in a decent hour. So we quickly pack and get outside to meet up with our new favorite driver that went by the name of Roger It's nice to hear from him every so often. Always had a smile on his face and even knew a little English so we could actually talk...sorta. (He just messaged me "out of the blue" while I am writing this part....HA! Well that's just telling me I'm going in the right direction..
On-wards we go. Our first part of the day was the drive to Ollantaytambo.
Wait till you see this place. We first arrive at the base of the ruins and find a great small market and plenty of life going on all around us. It's like they never left, just moved to the flat ground.
This would be a great place to do some shopping. In fact, I picked up a few things here myself.
I also found that you could get some great deals on gem stones and minerals. I think this where I picked up some raw emerald, as well as a nice piece of shaped meteorite.
Ollantaytambo townClick thumbnail to view full-size
The Hike Up To The Sun Temple.
We are starting our climb at a little over 9000 feet above sea level here I believe. This is making the hike up even more challenging. (as if the surrounding ruins didn't take your breath away as it was.) As we tour the lower ruin areas, our guide Robert was telling us, about the aqua ducts. About 30km away and straight up a mountain side, a natural spring gave a generous amount water to feed the various plant life that would produce the food for the area.
We learn that the many aqua ducts could even be plugged at certain places to re-route water to specific areas. It was a pretty amazing thing to see, that this was actually still in use to grow things such as corn and potatos to this day for the local people here, as well as some for tourists.
Thoughts of the place.
I wonder how many centuries this small farm land stuck between these narrow canyons, has been feeding the people of this area. As a mouth to the Amazon just around the bend a few miles, I'm sure these steep walls in the area have seen many civilizations come and go.
We ascend to the Temple of the Sun.
As we prepare for the hike up, we hear stories of the Spaniards and Inka people having some of their final battles here. You can see rows of terraces all the way to the top with 8 to 10 foot walls separating each level. I took an extra walk around more of the ruins as everyone catches their breath a few.
Take a few steps....breath....take a few more....then breathClick thumbnail to view full-size
On towards Machu Picchu
Time to rush off to catch the train (after a quick bite to eat at one of the local cafes).
The train ride was awesome with no shortage of things to see as we wind through valleys about 2 hours from start to finish. We go from mountain desert to the jungle this great trip to the next place.
From Ollantaytambo to Machu Picchu
North West through the mountains from Ollantaytambo to Mach Picchu
The Trip To Machu PicchuClick thumbnail to view full-size
Our first glimpse of an almost forgotten land.
Another satisfying day has come to an end.
After we unpack, we stroll the town a bit and then hit the hot springs. It was great end to another life changing day of soaking in the history. With so much to see and talk about I will end the writing here for this part. See you in part 4, it's all about Machu Picchu.