Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Peru Trip 2015 | Ollantaytambo (The Sacred Valley)

For the first half of our trip to Peru see the other posts in the series here:

Tacna: Part One
Tacna: Part Two 
Arica, Chile
Cuisine & Christmas Celebrations 

From Tacna we flew to Cusco.  We packed our things in two separate bags - one for a short trip traveling around and the other to stay in the hotel in Cusco.  [Kudos to my dad who spent many hours planning this all out so our trip would be a smooth as possible] After getting picked up at the airport, we arranged for our things to stay at the hotel, then proceeded to get in a van and drove through the mountains to Ollantaytambo.

Ollantaytambo is nestled in the valley of the Andes mountains and is known as the Sacred Valley.  It is also the site of a huge mountain side Incan fort. We arrived in the evening and settled in for the night resting by a fire place and drinking our Coca Tea to help us adjust to the altitude.

Now, I am a self proclaimed mountain girl.  I lived in the Appalachian mountains for 6 years of my life and definitely left a piece of my heart there.  When I saw these mountains I was utterly obsessed and in awe.  The Andes mountains made my sweet little blue ridge look like hills. I woke up early in the morning walked around with my camera in complete adoration of God's majestic creation.

We spent the day hiking up the fort and walking around a huge outdoor market at the base of the mountain.  The market was full of the most beautiful colorful woven textiles.  I think I bought one in every color for me and all my friends. It was so wonderful connecting with all the little pop up shop owners admiring their craft.

My favorite part of this day was hiking up the opposite side of the fort - there is a mountain with ruins on it.  I ended up wandering around higher than my family went and was completely alone. I sat on a rock that had the most amazing view of the valley and mountains and breathed in that moment.  I such peace and Gods presence after a hike with a mountain view.

At the end of our hiking adventures we headed to the train station.  We got on our train which was full of windows so we could really see the mountains all around us. This train took us to Aguas Calientes which is the little town at the base of Machu Picchu!

Up next in the Peru series:  The Gray family takes on Machu Picchu! 

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