They have divided our tour into two groups of 15 so that we have a more intimate experience. Jack and I are with the "boys group" and they have taken over the back of the bus. One if his favorite things if the day has been playing with them - in the creative ways of little boys, They have had "sword fights" with their plastic water bottles, and I interrupted a fill-your-mouth-with-water-punch-your-cheeks-together "fight" before everyone got soaked!
Our first stop was at a llama and alpaca farm (the "second favorite thing") where we could see/feed the animals (the boys favorite) and see demonstrations of the dying, spinning, weaving of the animal fibers (not a high interest for them!).
After a "pachamanca" lunch ("pachamanca" means "earthen bowl" because all the food - meats and vegetables - are buried and cooked under the heat source) during which we tried Alan assortment of interesting foods - including guinea pig, the national delicacy! - we drove on again through the valley to a local school house near our hotel, where they had arranged for us to visit (a third favorite) and have the kids play some games together... Jack participated in a "balloon relay" (which involved in sitting on balloons to pop them - a great favorite!). They kids also did an art project together.
In the middle of all the activity, we heard a trumpet, and then a band - and around the corner mar he'd a funeral procession, flowers, casket, mourners, musicians, and more flowers! Quite an experience! It really was a "celebration of life"!
After checking into our hotel - quite a luxury spa and resort with bridges, streams, peacocks, a gym, even faux dinosaur eggs (cracked open), an ornate church which looks like something right out of medieval Spain, a labyrinth, and a zen garden (something for everyone!) we met a Shaman who demonstrated for us an Inca religions ceremony and blessed our journey (a fourth favorite thing). A long day, but good.
PS - I finally got Jack to change out of his favorite Peruvian soccer shirt for dinner! (it bore the residual of the last three days' meals plus who knows what else!)
A view of the Sacred Valley from our hotel:
Internet connection is spotty, so who knows when this will get posted!
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