Discovering Peru: Ollantaytambo & the Peruvian Paso {GIVEAWAY}

After our final delectable meal at the Inkaterra, we boarded the train and began our trek back to Cusco. I’d awoken with a terrible tummy ache. In fact, as I recall, I’d gone to bed not feeling so well. I thereby abstained from eating anything; drinking only one cup of Muña tea. {I wish I could find this tea in the states.} I wasn’t looking forward two the long journey with gastro-intestional issues.

Fortunately, by the time we arrived at Ollantaytambo – an Incan temple that had not been completed – I was feeling myself again. Well enough, in fact, to bound up the steps behind Jeffrey.

OllantaytamboTempleOllantaytambo Temple

The Ollantaytambo Temple is located in the city of the same name, some 60 kilometers northwest of Cusco. During the Inca Empire, the temple was the royal estate of Emperor Pachacuti who conquered the region and built the town. At the time of the Spanish conquest, it served as a stronghold for Manco Inca Yupanqui, leader of the Inca resistance.

As we walked about the site, Harvey pointed out numerous architectural points of interest. When we reached the top, we had a magnificent view of the pueblo below, including the agricultural fields.

ollantaytamboIn town, the roads were amass with people. There was a festival taking place and as a result, the roads were blocked. We weren’t able to get through and thus were advised to stay near the bus just in case a last minute opportunity arose.

We managed to do a little shopping – I bought a watercolor painting and Geneva bought an oil on velvet painting. Both were are a peculiar size, so custom framing will likely be necessary.

After about an hour of delay, Harvey decided to have us walk through the crowds across town to two small vans he had arranged to meet us on the other side. There was so much going on in town – we wish we had done so earlier and to take in some of the festivities. This is one drawback of traveling with a group – you are forced to adhere to another’s schedule and unable to allow for spontaneity.

OllantaytamboPuebloWayra Ranch

We boarded the vans – assured that our luggage would make it’s way to our hotel in Cusco before our arrival – and soon thereafter arrived at Wayra, a ranch-style resort where we were to have lunch. The barbecue lunch at Wayra Ranch took place on the garden-view terrace located across the field from the stable.

Our meal was served family style with several courses: salad, empanadas, breads, potatoes, corn, tamales, beef kabobs, salmon and trout, and an assortment of postres for dessert. There was so much food and everything was delicious!

peruvianpasoThe Peruvian Paso

After our meal, we found a seat on the grass to enjoy a performance of the Peruvian Paso, is a breed of light pleasure saddle horse known for its smooth ride. It is distinguished by a natural, four-beat, lateral gait called the paso llano. They also put more weight on their hind legs and thereby kick up their front legs higher.

As the world’s horsemen moved from naturally gaited horses to trotting horses, the Peruvians continued to esteem and breed their naturally gaited “Caballo Peruano de Paso”. The Peruvian Paso horse descended from the bloodstock which was introduced to Peru from the Spanish, who at the time were the foremost horse breeders in the world.

Much to Jeffrey’s delight, he was able to ride one of the horses around a little. Geneva was content to stroke their neck.

We departed a short time later and continued our journey through the Urubamba or Sacred Valley. Originally, we were to have a few hours in the marketplace but due to the unforeseen delay in Ollantaytambo, we only had twenty minutes. Rather than do much shopping, I enjoyed speaking with the locals – meeting a young boy who spoke English quite well. He was delighted to learn we were from California and shared that he had had a teacher from California in the past. peopleofperuAlong the way, we caught a glimpse of an unusual lodging option. Suspended 400 feet above the valley are three capsules that resemble like airstream trailers. These transparent sleeping pods are crafted from aerospace aluminum and weather resistant polycarbonate, giving each visitor a 300 degree view of the valley below. I’m very pleased that IE didn’t arrange for our lodging here.

Discovering Peru @WellTraveledFamily.netJoin me tomorrow as we return to Cusco – The Imperial City. Be sure not to miss the other posts in this 5 day series:

Arriving in Cusco & the Sacred Valley

Machu Picchu

Lima – The City of the Kings (coming Friday)

travelguidesWhen we travel, I always purchase a DK Eyewitness Travel Guide to familiarize myself with the country and the culture. Updated annually, each book provides a detailed description of popular tourist attractions, restaurants, and lodging options.

Each guide divides the country (or city) into color coded regions enabling quick browsing while on the road. The DK Eyewitness Travel Guides are comprehensive guides that provide everything to see at a location. While comprehensive, the books give just the right amount of information to spark interest in the particular sights you want to see. They are organized intelligently for the traveler, and they always provide a map.

As a special expression of gratitude to you, I am giving away one DK Eyewitness Travel Guide of choice to a lucky reader. The contest closes on the 20th of September at 12 a.m.

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My post is one of many hopscotch link-ups. Hop over and see what others are sharing. You might also be interested in my post, 5 Misconceptions in Science & How to Dispel Them, on my homeschool blog.

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1 comment on “Discovering Peru: Ollantaytambo & the Peruvian Paso {GIVEAWAY}

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