Ollantaytambo (2) – Inca Ruins + Festival del Señor de Choquechilca (2)

Monday 21/05

I wake up at 7am and go to Plaza Mayor to see if there are nice pictures to take. But there’s not much animation. Too early probably after a long night…

I came back to the hotel at 8am. We pack our bags (we are going back to Cuzco today).

We take a breakfast (same as yesterday) and then go to the Ollantaytambo ruins, located very near to the hotel.

Both fortress and temple, these spectacular ruins rise above Ollantaytambo in a beautiful setting, with impressive and steep terraces.

After the visit, we walk the old cobblestone streets near the Plaza Mayor and then go to eat in a nearby cafe (in front of our hotel). Nice sandwiches.

Kids and Isabelle chill a bit in the hotel during an hour while I go on the plaza to take more pictures. The participants to the festival are so photogenic in have such colourful costumes! I take plenty of pictures since I know that only a few of them will be good (the people are always in movement, dancing most of the time…).

At 1:30pm, Marcos (the driver who accompanied us during our trek) comes and picks us up to bring us back to Cuzco. The kids are happy to get the same minibus. They watch the ABBA DVD most of the journey, which lasts 2h30.

We arrive around 4pm at the hotel that I booked: Niños Hotel (Fierro). Simple but quite charming hotel (and well located); we have a family room. It’s only for one night. We indeed leave tomorrow morning to Puerto Maldonado, by plane, to spend 3 and half days in the Amazonian forest.

We go to the San Pedro Market, to do a new supply of healthy snack (the bags that we filled in last week before the Lares trek are nearly empty). We go back to the same vendor as last week. Isabelle goes to the nearby streets to see the fabrics while I do a selection of fruits and nuts with the kids. We buy dried fruits (apricots, apples, mangoes, bananas, pineapples, raisins), coconut cubes, cranberries, almonds and dates. We’ll buy cashew nuts, pecans, Brazilian nuts, hazelnuts and walnuts in Puerto Maldonado, since José told us that we’ll have better choice over there with the supplies coming directly from Brazil.

We go back to the hotel for 1h30, to chill a bit and to prepare our bags for tomorrow. The clothes to take to the jungle are indeed quite different from the ones we took for the 7 days in the Andes…

We go to eat around 7pm. We go (on foot) to the Mc Donald’s on the Plaza de Armas, which by the way is well integrated in the nice plaza (a bit like in Rome, e.g., where the international fast-food chains must respect the uniformity of the historical city centre). We said that we would come to this Mc Donald’s after our trek. Good burgers.

We go back to the hotel on foot.

I downloaded my pictures to my laptop; I took 2100 pictures in one week. It will take a while to sort them out…

We are in bed by 9am.

Tomorrow we go to the jungle! We are excited. It’s the first time for the kids, and for Isabelle as well.

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