Peru Day 8: Pumamarca, Choquechaca Forest, and Other Things

Community Highlights Central / South America & The Caribbean Peru Day 8: Pumamarca, Choquechaca Forest, and Other Things

Buenas Tardes!

It was another big day in Peru. We began with another nice breakfast at the Inkaterra Urubamba. This time, we sat near this interesting couple, who appears to have been caught doing something they shouldn't be doing:
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Our pick up for today was scheduled for 7:30am. Today involved a new guide, but a driver, Efrain, we've met before. The details were a bit sketchy, but by this point, we are trusting the process. Efrain delivered us to Ollantaytambo, where we met our guide for the day, Ronald. Ronald joined us in the van and off we went, this time to a place not too far from Ollantaytambo, the Choquechaca Conservation Area.

Ronald offered us a couple of options for hiking the area, which would include a visit to Pumamarca, an ancient Incan and pre-Incan village. We chose the longer one, because we are all insane and doing all we can to resist the aging process. Ronald warned us that the first part of the hike would involve a lot of uphill. With the altitude, this is rather challenging. But, we went slowly, with breaks.

First, though, it was time for a "pit stop," the last one of its kind for quite some time:
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It didn't take long for the views to become really amazing.
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We finally reached Pumamarca. Fabulous ruins and we were the only ones there!
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After some exploration, it was time to continue on. During this part of the hike, we learned about efforts to get the invasive eucalyptus tree and reforest with native trees. We watched Ronald do a little pruning along the way. We also learned about hiking the "Andean flat"-- that means it's up down, up down. Still more fabulous views.
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Finally, it was time for a snack break! Ronald brought a sack full of snacks for each of us-- nuts, brownie, quinoa bar, tangerine, and a few veggies. Delicious. We enjoyed our break near a lovely waterfall.
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We hit the trail once again, and before long we were done!
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Then, it was time for the next phase of the afternoon-- a visit to a distillery and organic farm restaurant, not far from Ollantaytambo. We checked out the cane sugar liquor distillery, where we were surprised by the invitation to make our own cane sugar alcohol infusion, with our own choices of herbs. It will be "done" in about six months:
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Then we went to the lunch area, where we were greeted with our "welcome" beverage, some sort of refreshing, slightly alcoholic thing. Our day drinking had begun:
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Lunch was an elaborate affair. We (along with a couple of other groups) watched the ceremony of putting the lunch items in a heated pit, with each layer then covered with hot granite stones. The top was covered with cotton and then a layer of dirt.
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In about fifteen minutes, the feast was ready to be served!
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After the delicious lunch, we went back to the distillery, for a bit more tasting. Then, it was time to be bundled back into the van and whisked back to the hotel.
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Another fine Peruvian day!

Adios!

This featured blog entry was written by ORWAT from the blog O Reisert Where Art Thou: Peru.
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By ORWAT

Posted Fri, Jun 14, 2024 | Peru | Comments