Today we travelled to Chincero, Moray, and Ollantaytambo to explore ancient Incan ruins. Our group experienced a different side of Peru, getting a taste of this country’s rich history and also seeing a much more touristy side of the Sacred Valley. Fortunately, our trusty pal Augustine from the Llama Pack Project joined us and helped us navigate the crowds. The group hiked up the hillside above Ollantaytambo and found some time to reflect amidst the Incan ruins. Jayne, who is quite at home in the mountains, and Ayahna, for whom the mountains are an entirely new experience, both offered to share their thoughts this evening:
Jayne – “Mountains are not a foreign sight for a person that hails from Colorado, but every time I am surrounded by them, I feel overwhelmed. The Peruvian mountains have been no different. Taking a deep breath and looking around at the tall mounds that engulf me, I felt connected, protected, empowered, and lucky. Today, standing high above a remote town settled in a valley, I learned and discovered that no matter my location, mountains teach me universal lessons– no matter the type or height.”
Ayahna – “Today was definitely a wild experience for me, we hiked up a mountain near the town of Ollantaytambo. During the hike up I was in the back of the pack with Jensen and Jayne. I even gave us a nickname, the back of the pack backpackers. Getting to the top was kind of a challenge physically, but the main challenge for me was the height. I kept looking to the left of me and realizing that if I fell, it was my life. Getting to the top of the mountain left me speechless. I’m not usually around mountains in Boston. I took the time to think about how I was kind of observing a mini-world below me. It made me compare where we were to back home. It seemed like the people here are so developed. They literally have mountains on all four sides. I just think it’s amazing that these people live here, and get to wake up to such a beautiful place every day. Even with Ollantaytambo being a small city, it was so peaceful. I’m really grateful to everyone that made it possible for me to be here. P.S. I love you mom, and I miss you every day!”
Tomorrow we are off to explore the Pisac ruins and begin preparations for our trek to Cancha Cancha on Monday. Look forward to one more post tomorrow night before we go “off the grid” for 5 days!
(note: though “off the wifi grid,” our office can always connect with the group in the field)