On our third day, we travelled further into even more rural areas visiting the Sacred Valley of the Incas on our way to the town of Ollantaytambo. The morning started with an educational visit to Ccaccaccollo’s Planeterra which was a women’s weaving co-op (supported by G-Adventures) where we got to learn and see how the textiles were weaved and created. Many of us got the opportunity to take the famous #llamaselfie shots as they had a small farm. Only later we discovered most of them were alpaca instead. This was also the main location that most of us bought our llama and alpaca wool souvenirs for family and friends.
I got toques for my parents, mittens for myself, and socks for Matt (which later I kept myself..hehe. I found Matt a hand crafted chess set from a street vendor for only 5 USD!). Didn’t haggle too much although a friend of mine had advised me to cut the price in half to start, as I felt kind of bad.
One of the memorable things I learnt from this Planeterra (although probably not useful in life) is their hats are different between women who are married vs. single! If you’re married your hat will be flipped down with the white inteior facing upwards, if you’re single it will be flipped upwards like a bowl!!!! The other aspects on how they use vegetables , plants and what not to create dye colour was something that I already expected as it is a typical method throughout all cultures.
Lunch was at a local restaurant (also supported by G-Adventures) in Huchuy Qosqo where we got to try out authentic and organic Peruvian cuisine. This was agreeably one of the group’s favourite G-Adventure suggested restaurants as 1) It was an included cost so we didn’t see any mark-up 2) It was authentic and delicious 3) View was beautiful. Some of the other locations they brought us to (which was voluntary of us to join, but most of us did just for camaraderie’s sake) were very Westernised cuisine which were a bit disappointing. Especially since the price we felt was marked up for tourists at $15+ USD…so it did not seem like an authentic location that real locals go to for meals. And that was the sort of experience most of us wanted to have. However, I do have to admit later on in the trip many of us started to crave simple American food like pizza, which surprisingly, is quite plentiful in Peru.
Funny story at this one restaurant however is that I had gotten stuck in the washroom stall and was unable to unlock the door. I wasn’t in an extreme panic mode though because from eyeballing the layout of the stall, I would be able to climb over the stall and jump out -which I successfully managed to do! Sorry !!
This day we also got our first taste of what the hike would be like as we visited two different ruins, Pisac Ruins and Ollantaytambo ruins of Temple Hill and various agricultural terraces. Not sure if the altitude was getting to us, but most of us were shocked by how tired and how much huffing and puffing we were experiencing just from walking a flight of stairs.
From the two tour ruins, we started to worry about the intensity of the 4 day Inca Trail ahead for us the next morning, and whether we would be able to complete it…