Where are we?

Arrived in the Sacred Valley!

After taking 8 hrs to drive 345 km we made it Ollantaytambo!! Long day no wonder my hip is aching!!

We drive into the village on a cobblestone road for 2kms!! Not fun in a MH!! There was a parade going on as we arrived in the centre, but traffic was still allowed to go around the central plaza. The place is a zoo!! So busy with collectives going thru town and with the parade going on some of streets are closed. We drive to a side street about 3 blocks from the plaza and find a nice spot to park for the next 2 nights. We then walk to the plaza and go to a restaurant with a balcony overlooking the plaza to have a latte and watch the going ons at the plaza.😊  Seems like a long time since I had one, Dwayne has a hot chocolate - total S/13.  Not a bad price for a tourist town! We could also see the ruins just on the outskirts of town and Pinkuylluna ruins up on the mountain. These ruins were only used for storage of grain.  But we won't be climbing up the Pinkuylluna ruins - sounds very steep!!

We find out that the parade and celebrations are for Jan 6th Epiphany the 12th day after Christmas when the Wise Men visit Jesus.

The rivers as we get closer to Ollantaytambo are very high

Guess we have a small detour. We think there must have been a lot of rain in this area because there have been a few slides 

We start to see snow capped mountains

The parade that is happening as we drive into Ollantaytambo

Such strange heavy looking but beautiful hats they wear here

Their clothes are very bright

One of many plant pots like this around the plaza

That is Pinkuylluna on the side of the mountain

We're parked right near the kids area for the weekend celebration

Next morning the sun is shining and looks beautiful over the mountains.  We getting our laundry ready to drop off about 2 blocks away. After that we walk to the square and see that the celebrations are still continuing and some roads are closed off.  I'm not feeling very good as we start to walk over to the Ollantaytambo ruins, headache, dizziness and just feeling very tired from just walking over here! When we get to the ruins we can't buy a ticket just for these ruins we have to each buy a ticket for S/130! ($65C) that also gets us into other ruins we will be visiting but we have to visit within 10 days, not sure we can do that.  There is a cheaper ticket for S/70 that gets us into Ollan. plus a couple of other ruins but have to visit within 2 days! Well the S/70 won't work for us since we are here and Machu Picchu for the next 4 days - S/70 is to much to pay to see terraced ruins! The view at the top may be great but we've had many great views of valleys for free! We can buy that ticket when we get closer to the other ruins so we can see them all in 2 days. And looking at those steps going up I'm definitely not up for that. Dwayne says fine with him, he doesn't need to go up there so see the ruins.

So we decide to walk to the train station to check it out. Find out that the train is travelling to Aguas Calientes, there are no problems on the track from the heavy rains in MP/AC yesterday.  As we walk back we find where we will park Vanna while we go to Aguas Calientes for only S/16 per day. We'll move there tomorrow just before catching the 1pm train. We continue to go back to the plaza and I'm feeling really crappy since we are walking uphill. This altitude sickness is not good today! We eventually get back to Vanna and I just flop on the bed and stay there for the rest of the afternoon.  I take more coca pills and tea but every time I get up to move I'm really dizzy. We are at 9350' and I'm just glad that Aguas Calientes is at 6700' and MP is at 8800' so shouldn't have any problems there!

Later around suppertime we head out to walk around. Locals fill the streets where all the food vendors are eating pork, chicken etc and sharing beer from 1litre bottles in plastic glasses. Very few locals go into the MANY restaurants around the plaza.  I thought maybe because their food is cheaper but when I asked about the price of a BBQ pork plate the price is S/25!! Pretty expensive for street food!! Even a burger and fries or pizza can be had in a restaurant for 15-20 soles. We also see a band is setting up a block from where we are parked. Hummmm might be a noisy night!

Nope I was not into walking up all those stairs! You can see a few people walking up (tiny dots) 

Hats are pretty but some wear them way over to one side - big chin straps though

This is early morning breakfast! Fried chicken, pork and potatoes😋 

Street vendors lined up for business

Love the baby with the cute little bonnet :)
Nice selections of toques and full face covers

Found my little Alpaca 😍

part of the parade

Even the men wear hats with ribbons

He turned away from me just as I was taking the picture - so cute with his toque

One very bright family!!

Porters coming off the train from Aguas Calientes, probably getting ready for the next trek up the Inka Trail
Today we woke up with very little sleep! The band was loud of course which is fine, but didn't stop playing until 4AM!!! How do this people do this?? And the music never seems to even take a break in those 10 hours of playing!! Pretty sure it was a live band. Maybe there was more then one 🙅 Plus the kids play area behind us was open until at least midnight and lots of people were walking by the van, some even were leaning against it!! Which of course would wake us up 😡  Now we are heading over to the parking area and then to the train. I think I will really enjoy 2 nights at the BnB 😂

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