Today we planned to visit the town of Pisac and hike up to some in a ruins. All we had read promised that it would be a great day as the ruins were meant to be some of the most impressive in South America. As is often the case though we were struggling to find out much info about where we had to hike.
So we began the day with three different suggested locations as to where the bus left from. (Turned out to be the second street we tried) then on arrival in Pisac we had read to head to the church and climb passed it on the western side.
I think we are definitely a bit more relaxed about these things now as the vague directions didn’t phase us and we were soon on the right path. Up.
Right from the start of the hike we were immensely impressed by what the Incas had built. The first thing we saw were these huge terraces about head high for me and easily over twenty of them about 50m wide. They had been built to stop landslides. Well that is what we think as there is a lot of mystery and confusion about what and why the Incas built certain things. This is mostly due to the fact that they did not have a written language to record things and the Spanish killed off most of the elders, thus preventing information from being passed down.
All we knew was that it was pretty impressive building these terraces and buildings so high up such a steep mountain. As we climbed higher and higher we saw more and more buildings and terraces it was really quite exciting.
For me at this point I was really quite happy. I had imagined Peru to be full of Inca ruins and hiking and it was just superb to be spending our first full day in the country hiking up a huge mountain with fantastic views while every twenty minutes or so coming across a group of buildings or terraces.
We climbed on our hike from about 3500m up to over 4000m above sea level. We were pretty exhausted and could only imagine what building houses and terraces would have been like.
The terraces have mostly been built in order to prevent landslides but as to why they just didn’t avoid building in the areas affected by landslides is anyone’s guess. Also why they built so high up the hills is amazing too!
The paths and the steps are really well constructed and still in almost perfect condition today. Once again with South American sights its just great how close we can get to the buildings there certainly aren’t as many rules as other countries!
The size of the site at Pizac is what’s most impressive and we spent all day walking around the place discovering more and more as we got higher and higher. The scenery coupled with the ruins was really pretty special.
The other great thing was that we were two of only three people hiking up to the ruins. It’s predictable with those odds that the third person was from Brisbane and we certainly enjoyed Craig’s company around the site.
All in all it was a great day at the site and I think I uttered the words wow about a hundred times. It was made all the more rewarding as we hiked the trip and that we couldn’t see all the site from the start so every time we went round a corner or over a crest we saw more.
In the evening we were to meet up with Thibaut and Lucie. They were returning from Machu Picchu and we were pretty exhausted too. We waited until well gone 10pm in the restaurant suggested by Lucie but eventually we decided we were going to have to give up. Amazingly we bumped into them in the street on our way home, turns out Lucie had chosen a restaurant which there were actually two of in Cusco. So although we ate seperately we got to catch up for a drink.
Great to see them again and as we have bumped into them randomly so many times already I know we will see them again. T
This wa the view from the bottom of our hike. Each of the terraces were about as tall as me so we has a fair way to get up them.
The view of the town of Pisac from about halfway up.
It’s just amazing where they built things. Also the paths connecting everything are just fantastic although fairly vertigo inducing
Some more of the ruins on the way up. Not only were they great to look at but so was the view o ver the valley.
A definite feature of all the Incan sites is how they controlled water flow. These channels would include cascades and twists and turns before disappearing underground and then reappearing later. Unfortunately the art of plumbing was lost to the South Americans when the Incans disappeared.
The whole mountainsides were covered in terracing and buildings. It would have been great to see it before it fell into ruin.