Collectivo to beautiful Ollantaytambo
15.02.2013 19 °C
After delaying for three days due to the floods we were finally on the road to Ollantaytambo, a small village in the Sacred Valley where we would get our train to Macchu Picchu in 3 days time.
We travelled by a Collectivo - a minibus where the driver basically waits until the it's full before setting off, regardless of the time it says it will leave. However this is why it's only 10 soles per person (£2.50) for an hour and a half trip and it didn't take long for it to fill up. There was no space for luggage so our bags were underneath up, on top of us and by the side of us!
The scenery on the journey was lovely, some of the fields looked like a green and yellow patchwork quilt and the mountains were dark and green rising up into the clouds. It made me realise just how high up we were.
People got on and off along the way, and when one Peruvian man, who was sat behind us, asked the driver to stop, his breath carried to our noses and I nearly threw up! I won't swear on here, but it smelt like dog poo and this altitude is making me have a really low vomit threshold. Me and Andrew then couldnt stop giggling about how we used to call dog poo 'dogger' when we were younger...ahhh, at least we have each other!
We got dropped off in the square in Ollantaytambo and it was tiny but perfect. The mountains rising up either side of the small square we're closing in around it, it was amazing. I had never been anywhere quite like it.
After finding directions to our hostel, we walked around the cobbled streets and inca buildings and we arrived at Hostal Iskay. It had everything, including a lamb eating on the terrace and a pen with guinea pigs, who I'm not sure were pets given our current countries taste for them! Our room and the view was incredible -
I immediately felt so much better than I did in Cusco - maybe because of the lower altitude, maybe because I was somewhere so beautiful.
We headed back to the square for some lunch, partaking in some luminous Inca Cola and an amazing vegetable frittata, and sat and watched the town go by.
Ollantaytambo is the best surviving example of an inca town. Away from the square, it's a maze of inca streets and buildings, and on the hills, there are inca ruins all around. We have decided tomorrow we will climb the ruins, almost in preparation for Macchu Picchu!
We headed to the local market to buy tomatoes and garlic, but also came out with socks, which according to the look on the sellers face he'd totally done us on the price. The same happened down the road, where we obviously paid a small fortune for a 2.5 litre bottle of Sprite, which by the way doesn't taste the same in South America.
The sun sets early here and it was completely dark by 6.30pm, so we ate in the hostel surrounded by the two hostel cats. I like cats as much as the next person, but I don't like it when you don't know where they've been and they're jumping on the counter when you're trying to cook food or trying to sit on the table while you're eating!