Friday, November 26, 2004

Nov 23rd Day 5.

Check out the day 5 photo album here

iam typing this in one of the internet café´s which is playing Eminem´s slim shady. Today I did the sacred valley tour. As the name says It was supposed to be a Sacred valley for the Incas. It is like 40/50 kms from cusco. During the inca regime, Most of the food used to be cultivated in this region it seems. The valley was beautiful. It had Andes Mountain on both sides and the river urmbamba running though it. A road goes straight from one end of the valley to other. There was these yellow mustard plant flowers on both sides. and the river urumabamba follows the road all along. From the shores of the river to the mountain range it´s all fields, mainly corns and potatoes.

The sacred valley made me think about Kashmir. Probably Kashmir must be 10 times beautiful than this. With the snow clad Himalayas on both sides. Here also I was able to see some snow cap mountains in a distance. It was a clear beautiful day and the scenery was breathtaking. Went to a local market called pisac market. Pretty much like any village market in India. women’s selling things on make shift places and platforms. Things where dead cheap if u bargained. i kind of felt guilty that iam bargaining with these poor peoples. But things are like India only.100% is the told price and 60% is the original went dead right down to 25% and then moved up. Lot of foreigners where buying as it was.

Today I saw quiet a few Indians. two guys , a couple and a whole family, grandparents parents and bunch of kids.

Went to a great restaurant for lunch, beautiful garden overlooking the mountains. Nice food. I ate this chicken dish again. It is not very spicy it was more like chicken cooked in groundnut sauce, was very tasty. Peruvians have rice porridge’s same like India which u have to mix with a sweet corn sauce. And here in most of the tourist visiting restaurants there is same kind of an environment. Mainly single person or a group playing reed quena/flute. These guys who ever is playing has some 2,3 CD´s that he has released and tourist can buy them. I bought one yesterday. The music sounded more Indian to me. Sometime i felt like it was a mid 80 illayaraaja song.I have to hear them more to figure out why it is giving such a feeling.

My camera went dead once i came out of the restaurant. I was so upset. Tommorrow is the big day .iam going to Manchu picchu and my camera is dead no display everything is blank. Well it could be just The battery. But few months before something similar happened and nothing happened even after a battery change. I had to talk to NIKON to reset the camera. well if that is the problem i cannot do that here and tomorrow is the big day .Iam going to MANCHU PICCHU. And without a camera i will be so upset.

Went to the ollantaytambo fort, supposedly built by an inca general called ollantay, who has a statue before the entrance. which is supposedly built in the shape of a llama. it had so many terraces.Our guide showed a human face on the side of the mountain.He said ,During the day of the summer solstice, the first rays falls on the face of the mountain.This is the case with most of the incan ruins including machu picchu.There will be some astronomical thing marking the summer soltice.

The view from the top was great. There were huge mountains all around a few snow clad ones in the distance and the beautiful sacred valley below. Watching the enormity of mountains i felt so small. The view of mountains from the fort overwhelms you. I was thinking what would have the incans felt seeing these gigantic mountains. This over whelming mountains for a primitive mind, having millions of questions about his existence would have definitely be looking like a god.I guess one can’t blame him for worshiping the mountains as a god.

Modern peru

On the way back went to another incan fort called chinchero, which was messed up by the Spanish. Went to the museum there, which had the incan farming and weaving equipments.

The first thing i did after returning to the lodge was changing the battery… ooolaaa.. it worked. that’s a big relief. I will be able to enjoy MANCHU PICCHU much better.

The internet guy just now switched off the lights. i thought he was going to close and told him that I will wrap up in a few minutes. he said. he is not closing but he is just playing a movie. Apparently lot of the internet center here play movie also. first when I saw a white board in the corner and a few sears before it I though they are teaching some computer courses. He just pulled a screen over the white board and an over head projector is showing a movie. It is hell boy with Spanish sub titles. Lot´s of kid from the neighbor hood just sneaked in and are sitting next to my computer. Guess it is time for me to vacate the seats for them.

Went to a restaurant called ukumari. Ukumari is supposed to be a bear only found on top of high andes. As a lot of other animals. It is also in the danger of becoming extinct. Had the famous cusco CUI (guinea pig).Imagine a whole guniea pig roasted and kept in your plate and the guinea pig eyes looking at you. They even roast the skin. I dropped the rubbery skin and went for the meat, was good. Had a side dish with it called rocoto Rellento which was nothing but south indian bujji done with the core made of potato and roccoto(peruvian chilly). Roccotto is in between a small chilly and a bell pepper but is hot like hell.

walked back to the lodge around 11.30 pm without any problems.



Peru has more than 200 varieties of corn and 1000 varieties of potatoes. It is said that potatoes originated from Peru. I read this interesting thing that potato was so much part of the inca life that, there basic unit of time was a time taken to boil a potato. They communicated time in terms of number of potato boiling time units. Probably this how they talked

“Hey buddy lets go to the sun temple in 5 potato time”.

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