The Sacred Valley, Peru, July 31, 2003 — After having spent the day before at travel agents to book our tour of Machu Picchu, we were somehow convinced that we should also take a bus tour of the Sacred Valley, a series of sites and towns around Cusco that have important Incan ruins, etc. It turned out to be a decent way to see lots of places in one day and learn a little bit along the way from our very odd tour guide. But it was mostly a way to get tourists to visit markets all over the region. Clearly our inexpensive tour was subsidized by kickbacks or other “incentives”. Since we weren’t really in a shopping mood, I focused much more on photography, with an emphasis on the the women who ran the markets dressed mostly in traditional clothing.