South America

On the way to Ollantaytambo, passing in Moray and Maras

Finally, an almost perfect night! We barely heard noise, which considering the previous days, it tasted like heaven! But…, and everything has a damn but, early americans complaining about the breakfast in a very american way, “A breakfast without eggs?? And who the fuck eats olives on breakfast??” Well.., heathy people eat olives, and healthy people don’t start the day with a cholesterol bomb…, just saying… But we were soo eager for our next destination, Ollantaytambo!

As agreed with our taxi driver on the second day in Cusco, we had a planned and private tour scheduled for this day, we had to wake up early (actually the day before we decided to reschedule the tour to two hours earlier because we really wanted to enjoy Ollantaytambo) and we had our taxi driver / tour guy waiting for us! He wasn’t our tour guy though, but he organized everything.

Packing everything into the “taxi” luggage (in Peru every car can be a taxi…, how delightful), and heading to our first stop which was Moray. That’s a known place, but I believe it isn’t that touristic yet, it wasn’t an easy way to get there, and not everyone hates their car like our driver…, the guy really didn’t care much about the holes on the street, nor how fast he was driving in a dirt road…, well…

It is starting to be repetitive, but all the landscapes are really breathtaking! Everything is so amazing that it is so hard to capture those moments and views with any camera, even worst when you have a cheap camera like I did… I don’t believe photos can describe what my eyes saw, just being there! Which is also a pity, is that it is already possible to see the destructive effects of tourism.

Moray Inca Ruins
Moray Inca Ruins

Moray is a very interesting place, and the best is that very few people were there, and when I say very few I mean to say less than 20! And it is priceless when you can enjoy a site without having to run for the next stop, nor having to wait for other people if you get tired! Excursions like the day before…, please…, don’t… Ah…, wait…, we had more after that.

After Moray, we went to Maras’ Salt Pounds, yeah the view is always great, yeah you also can see Salt Pounds in Europe…, but not pre-Inka Salt Pounds! Damn, those guys were really advanced! It is such a pity that the Spaniards (and the Portuguese…) destroyed part of those wonders.

Just to remind, that the roads to reach these two places are really in bad shape, but I am sooo glad we did that! After that we head straight to Ollantaytambo, and I was really eager for that place! The day before we skip the archeological site, this day was the day!

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We left our stuff at the hostel, unfortunately Tajana had to stay there…, the altitude sickness was starting to give the first serious signs…, and I and Ramón went for a late lunch, and what a lunch… I don’t recommend that place to eat! I just asked for some thing light, a salad, and after a lot of time we were served…, and I had the wrong salad. I don’t like to be picky, but it had happened before with me several times and I was not in the mood to get the wrong dish this time. I sent it back, and I asked what I have ordered…, but the guy didn’t trust me and went back to double-check with the other waiter if I really had order what I claimed. Seriously??? Guess what? The second salad was similar to what I’ve ordered, but not exactly what was in the menu and that I was paying for. Ok, no more bitchy mode, I just ate. When we were paying, Ramón realized that he also didn’t get what was in the menu!! Nice view, bad service! I don’t remember the name of the restaurant, but it in the train station road by the river!

Day of light rain, cloudy sky awful for nice blue-sky photos…, but not that bad that it could end. We went to the top of the ruins, and again, I was soooo glad we skip that part of the tour the day before! I lost the track of time, but we enjoyed it twice or more the time the tour guide gave to the group to explore that site!

On the way to Ollantaytambo, passing in Moray and Maras
On the way to Ollantaytambo, passing in Moray and Maras

During the walk, what I thought it was the food taking effect, now that I am writing this I know that was already the altitude sickness. I have a small note-book where I write some topics about the day to help me write my blog post, and I wrote that the food was taking effect, needless to say what I am referring to, right? During the following days I noticed that it was really the altitude and travel sickness…, this was the first sign.

It was time for a snack / dinner at the Hearts Café where we met with Tajana again…, but we forgot about the time-detail on women perspective…, we had to WAIT! Yeah, that’s really a cool and cozy place, totally it’s worth the visit. On what concerns my sunburn…, oh gosh, that hurt a lot! I had to buy sun-cream for the following days, and a cream for the sunburn. What half an hour can do to one…

This was the 5th day in South America, we had very tiring days and the jet lag forced us to go to bed earlier than normal. Now that we (or at least me) were starting to get into the timezone, we were forced to go to bed way early, the next day was THE day! Waking up isn’t a problem when you know you’ll have the time of your life!


By Gil Sousa

Portuguese expat in Cork, traveler and food enthusiastic.

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