After my brief second stay I finally checked out of the excellent Rumi Punku, leaving my bag – with instructions – in the hope that it would be collected during the day. This left me free to make my way by public transport along the Sacred Valley, visiting some of the sights on the way. A short taxi ride took me to the small bus station which serves Pisac, and within minutes I was on my way a medium-sized bus, climbing out of Cuzco and over the pass before descending and descending into the Sacred Valley and crossing the river Urubamba on the edge of the town of Pisac.

Pisac is famous for its craft market, especially on Sundays, but also on Tuesdays (which it was) and Thursdays. I was quite early and stalls were still setting up. I wasn’t in a souvenir shopping mood so all I came away with was a couple of nice photos (see below). I charged up on coffee and cake before starting the climb to and through the Inca metropolis above the town.

It’s an incredible place, climbing up the mountain, full of incredible terraces, fortifications, temples and dwellings. It’s more extensive than Machu Picchu but also more spread out and although the setting is dramatic it is not as outstanding nor as rugged than its more famous sister. I spent the best part of three hours there, most of the first two spent gradually ascending through the various parts of the site.

You can see my photos of Pisac in my gallery.

I jumped on another bus to take me further up the valley to the town of Urubamba where I hoped to find lunch, but there wasn’t much on offer. After wandering about for twenty minutes, I decided to carry on to Ollantaytambo. A trishaw saved me slogging along the main road to the bus station, where I caught my third bus of the day for another 45 minutes upstream to the main square at Ollantaytambo. Here I did find a late lunch in a bizarre but friendly cafe run by an Englishwoman.

Feeling content I strolled down to the station and negotiated security at the gate to reach my hotel, the lovely El Albergue. My bag hadn’t arrived but I was assured it was en-route. No problem, I relaxed first in a hammock in the garden and then in the gorgeous wood-fired eucalyptus sauna. Fantastic!

I finished the day by having a pizza in a small restaurant built against an old Inca wall. I got chatting (in Spanish) with the owner and he showed me around his ceramics shop and workshop.

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