Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The Sacred Valley of the Incas

When Jack talked about his favorite things of the day, one of them was NOT being awakened at 5:30 a.m. to be ready for the 5:45 a.m. luggage pull! That being said, however, he did not sleep on the bus or the plane as we traveled! Instead, it was a very active day for him (for us all, in fact) filled not only with the assortment of interesting activities planned, but with bonding with a gaggle of boys and climbing, running, bumping into things (on purpose), falling down (again on purpose) and generally having a very good time, in spite of admonitions (from our tour guide) that we Should "go slowly" while we adjusted to the altitude. Apparently the altitude hasn't affected him one bit! We flew from Lima (sea level) to Cusco (11,000 feet) and then climbed (by bus) to the mountain pass about 13,000 feet, before dropping into the Sacred Valley of the Incas. (Our hotel is at about 10,000 feet.)

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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1 comment:

jovaliquilts said...

Jack may be doing ok with the altitude, but are you? I got altitude sickness in Denver, can't imagine what Peru would be like!