I am having the absolute best time in this quaint little town. Where can I even begin? We arrived last Sunday, driving from Cusco, over the mountain and then descended upon this place in the Sacred Valley. Our school house is at the edge of town, at the base of one of the mountains and my room has a balcony. Huzzah! 🙂 Classes are in the morning for my friends and I, which means we can actually go do things together. Thi was put to good use the last couple of days when we were able to do with our time as we will after the set activity for the day.
Yesterday, we visited Salineras by Maras, which are basically salt mines on a terrace. The salt apparently comes from the mountains and they are sold for animal feed. It was quite the hike going up and I totally wasn´t expecting it. I ended up being last and completely overwhelmed with the amount of energy I expended. However, the place was a beautiful sight and it was fun just to be part of that scene.
Today was an even more amazing day. I ended up hiking around the Pisaq ruins for about 4.5 hours. It was a lot of up mountain, down mountain, and even going off the beaten paths with my friends. There were points when I was basically standing on a rock and a 360 degree view of the Andes Mountains that surrounded me. It was an amazing feeling to be so up high like that and just be surrounded by awestriking beauty. It´s so hard to describe, but climbing up by all those different ruins on the different side of the mountain was just unbelievably wonderful.
On our way back down, my friend and I went to another ruin right on a part of the mountain that was out of the way from the usual tourists. It was funny cuz here were these ancient stones and then someone went by one of the walls and laid a big one… or according to my friend, someone ¨pinched a loaf¨. Yes, disgusting.. And in one of the caves was hidden toilet paper. I guess this is the ¨real¨side of these mysterious ancient ruins. On our way down as well, there were 2 ladies waiting to sell us things. We were the last ones down and I felt so bad I ended up buying a bracelet… which I lost. Ah well. By the time we made it down, the sun had set and we decided to stop by a little hole in the wall for some empanadas. Overall, it was definitely one of the best days.
Tomorrow was supposed to be another activity day, but there´s a strike by people in transportation, I think regarding gas. Therefore, it´s a nice free day. We´re probably going to climb up the mountain by the school.