Birthday in Peru

No better way to start a birthday than a lie in followed by a fried breakfast. And in Ollantaytampu mission was accomplished and we followed it up with a walk around town. It’s such an amazingly old town with tonnes of character and we were definitely glad that we made the stop here.
We were making our way back to Cusco today and had booked for our taxi to pick us up at about 11 and sure enough Eddy was there on time. He was quite an enterprising guy who had given us a lift once before and had given us a deal to drive us back from Ollantaytampu. He was always handing out his cards and chatting to the hostels when doing his pick ups and drop offs.
After we had checked that there were no would be kidnappers in the boot we got in and he presented us with a load of postcards of potential sights we could see on the way back. Brilliant. So we picked a couple and off we set on what we are now looking as a bonus sightseeing tour through the Sacred Valley.
First stop were the Maras salt fields. These date back to the Incan times. A salty stream has been redirected to flow through the pools and as the pools dry out the salt is left. There is an intricate flow of water connecting all the pools which once filled no longer have any water going to them it’s quite simple and quite ingenious at the same time.
Next stop for us was Chinchero which again was a beautiful old town with Incan terracing on show on the surrounding hills. It really does show how many Incan towns there were during their relatively short reign.
Arrival back at Cusco and back at the hotel and we were off to try and see the chocolate museum, and either we got the wrong one or the wrong one in the wrong city but it was rubbish. Apart from some free samples of chocolate.
We decided to take up the offer of a massage and obviously had to go for the Incan one. Mine was the hardest massage I have ever had I can’t believe how such a small lady could have inflicted so much pain, but afterwards felt absolutely brilliant.
An evening of dining was ahead of us and we had singled out a pretty flash place to try and experience some Peruvian fine dining. We weren’t disappointed and had one of the best Pisco sours we have had and followed that up with a delicious tasting plate and some beautiful trout ceviche. It was all really good but will have to admit I think the world is getting so small from a culinary perspective that it’s often difficult to tell where a dish actually originated from. I think we will be back in the markets for some authentic Peruvian tomorrow.
All in all a just fantastic day to wind up what has been a pretty epic experience seeing Machu Picchu. T    
Great find by Sarah, I didn’t think it was going to happen.

 
At the Maras salt flats.  That’s actually the two way path I am standing on. 

   
Really quite a cool place to look at and to think it’s all fed by the smallest of streams, barely a foot wide by a foot deep.

    
Sunday mass at Chinchero, a beautiful square.

 

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