Pisac – The Sacred Valley – Peru
For me, the Sacred Valley is the jewel of Peru. The Urubamba river (100 kilometers in length) revered by the Inca, flows through the heart of the valley. It is an almost spiritual force, which has been the lifeblood of the fertile Sacred Valley for centuries.
Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, are the market days in Pisac, when villagers from all over the valley and the surrounding Andes, come to sell their produce and crafts. Their stalls fill the village square and spill over into the adjoining cobblestone lanes. The majority of the women still wear traditional clothing whether working in the fields, or conducting business in the marketplace.
The Pisac ruins—which are like a mini Machu Picchu—are a fantastic example of an Inca town and fortress. Built around a mountaintop with a 360 degree view of the valley below, they consist of four distinct areas. The homes, the wells, the spiritual and ceremonial complex, and the extensive agricultural terraces, which provided food for the entire town.
We began our exploration of the ruins at 6:45 a.m. on a Thursday morning, and were literally THE only people in sight. For three and a half hours we had the place to ourselves. What an unforgettable experience that was! So enraptured by our surroundings were we, that we barely noticed the steep uphills and vertical descents. The weather changed constantly from extreme heat, to a light rain, to icy winds, to gorgeous temperate weather. Huge puffy clouds – like Inca warriors on the march – turned dark and threatening, then marched on leaving sunshine and wind in their wake.
A hike down the mountain along a path that winds among the trees, delivered us to the heart of the Pisac market.
With growling stomachs we headed for our favorite hangout -Ulrike’s Cafe – where homemade, hearty, wonderful food is served, and travelers from all over the world congregate to share their experiences, hook up to wi-fi and chill out with a mug of coffee and yummy desserts. Note: the photo displayed here is a local bakery in Pisac. It is a 5 minute walk from Ulrike’s Café.