Photographer/Writer’s Note: So….my “pictures of the day blog” has obviously slipped sadly into near oblivion. Moving apartments (and into a whole new state) set me back, and work was crazy in the fall and winter, so catching up started seeming impossible. But 2014 is here, and I refuse to allow the blog to fall further behind. So, today it returns with pictures of the week, until I catch up.
Sacred Valley, Peru, August 13 to 19, 2003 — We left Cusco behind by public bus to explore the Sacred Valley of the Incas on our own. Our first stop was an unexpected (off the guidebook) delight. The town of Coya was having its annual festival. It was a very local affair, with many of the festivities literally occurring in back yards. But the town drunk Jose, who spoke mostly Quechua and a little (slurred) Spanish adopted us and took us around, showing us the insider’s view. From Coya, we went to see the ruins at Pisac, and then on to Ollantaytambo. Though we had seen these town with the official tour bus a few days earlier, exploring on our own allowed us to see them without the crowds of the tour and without being herded into shops where (presumably) the bus driver and guides received kickbacks. We also managed a long hike to Moray and Maras. Moray is the site of the ruins of enormous terraced circular depressions, whose purpose remains unknown. And Maras contains spectacular salt pans that have been in use since Incan days.