Cuzco (3) – Excursion to Pisac

Friday 11/05

Vlog by Ludivine: see below.



By me:

We wake up at 7:45am. We go to Pisac today. The plan is to leave at 9am and to come back at 2pm, on time to eat a salad before doing homeschooling.

The departure point of the collectivos for Pisac is near our apartment. As soon as we arrive, an old man proposes to drive us there for 6 soles per person. We accept. His car is quite comfortable. It takes roughly one hour to go there. The road is nice. We even stop at a viewpoint.

He also proposes to drive us up to the entrance of the ruins. We were planning to take a taxi anyway so we say yes. Upon arrival at the entrance of the site (for which our ‘tourist ticket’ that we bought yesterday to visit Sacsaywaman is valid), we take a guide (70 soles) to visit the upper part of the site.

This hilltop Inca citadel is a truly awesome site. It lies high above the village of Pisac on a triangular plateau with a plunging gorge on either side. The most impressive feature is the agricultural terracing, which sweeps around the flanks of the mountains in huge and graceful curves, almost entirely unbroken by steps (which require greater maintenance and promote erosion). Instead, the terracing is joined by diagonal flights of stairs made of flagstones set into the terrace wall. The Inca created the terraces by hauling richer topsoil by hand from the lower lands.

At the top of the ruins, we can find a residential settlement, a large Inca cemetery (hundreds of holes honeycombing the cliff wall) and baths. We enjoy spectacular panoramic views of the Andes Mountains.

We then walk down to the lower part, which is the site’s ceremonial centre: a temple complex constructed from exquisitely carved pink granite, featuring a sun temple, ceremonial altars, water channels and wells.

From there we can see, a few hundred metres further down the mountain, a beautiful urban area located on a high semi-circular ledge.

We continue to Pisac; it’s a very nice walk, with stunning views. We arrive in Pisac around 2pm. We pass through the market (Mercado de Artesania) on Plaza de Armas, for which Pisac is known. Its by far the biggest and most touristy in the region.

We are hungry; we go to ‘Ulricke’ restaurant. We have a very nice lunch with bagels (with handmade cream cheese and smoked trout) for Florence, Isabelle and I, and burgers for Jules and Ludivine (who orders a vegetarian one). We also order a very good guacamole.

We then wander a bit in the market, during one hour. Isabelle buys an alpaca jumper. We see the Horno Colonial San Francisco, the town’s most authentic clay oven, dating back to 1830. We also see a miniature castle inhabited by guinea pigs.

Around 5pm, we take a collectivo to go back to Cuzco. There are 2 French couples sharing it with us.

It’s too late to start homeschooling when we are back home.

We have a briefing with our guide for the biking day of tomorrow.

We then prepare a salad for dinner. We play ‘Loup Garou’.

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