03.10.2013 - 04.10.2013
...horse riding. So we got saddled up on our horses with our guide. Mine was a grey and black girl named Sapphire who was used to following the leader, so whenever Brad or Victor's horses came close she would turn round and try to scare them away. At one point she even kicked Brad's horse in the face and I was so scared that I would fall off, especially because our guide didn't look like he was paying much attention, and the horses shoes were slipping on the rocks. I did feel quite sorry for them and although it was a great experience and I enjoyed trotting, I'm not sure it's very fair on the horses so I don't think I would do it again. We saw the temple of the moon, where every year there are people from all different religions who come to pray and do ceremonies because it is believed to have very good energy, and is an old Inca temple. At the front of the temple, there are three steps to symbolise past present and future. It also symbolises the spiritual world and the snake, the present time and the puma, and the afterlife and the condor. This is also related to the Andean cross which we have seen throughout Peru. This temple is situated inside a cave and when there is a full moon, the gap at the top of the cave will allow moon light to enter, which is when some of these ceremonies occur. After riding our horses back, we went home and then out to dinner in a traditional Peruvian restaurant.
Today we went for lunch in Cuzco at jacks cafe. I have been ill for about two weeks with a bad stomach so I have been trying to eat less but I was starving so I had a veggie breakfast which was avocado, haloumi, beans, toast, potatoes with coriander and scrambled egg with a lemon ice tea. It all tasted beautiful! I was I'll afterwards and my stomach really hurt but I needed to load up on carbs for the upcoming Lares trek. I went with 5 other people from our group including Brad which was nice, and I also picked up some camping trousers from a shop and am made up! Finally I have my zip off trousers I feel so cool! We had to go back to the hotel by 1pm to catch our two hour bus to the sacred valley in Ollantaytambo. On the ride, I saw a little teacup pig by the side of the road with some other pigs which was so cute, and I had my music turned right up with the sun shining on the bus. Finally I have got that real happy holiday feeling and am just so excited for the adventure ahead! After arriving at our new hotel, we all took a walking tour of the town, where we saw lots of dogs, mountains all around us and narrow cobbled streets where the walls are still original from the time of the incas. We learnt that the building were built in a trapeze shape so that the could withstand seismic activity and there was a small stream running down the side of a street which brings water from the river and that was also made in the time of the incas. We then took a long hike up to where the people used to store and dry their food high up on the side of a mountain. We saw how during the time when the Spanish were coming, the people rushed their work to get it finished as they knew something was going to happen, and there was a similar effect to plaster over the brick walls which were more rustic looking and less aesthetically pleasing than the ones down In the village. The hike was steep and the ground was covered in rocks and large slippery stones, so it was quite difficult, and if we slipped there was a sheer drop so it would be very dangerous. Along the way we managed to pick up a street dog who walked with us to the top. He was shaggy and small, and when I sat down finally he came and sat with me. We managed as a group to make it to the top to the storage a which look similar to English castles in a way, as the stone has large windows carved out where the town would be watched over. It was extremely windy up the top, and Brad didn't look to comfortable with it. The view was indescribably beautiful. The mountains surrounding us varied in height, with some being snow capped and below we could see the cliff side, and a small town with inca terraces. Once we made it to the bottom, we went home and then out to a restaurant called 'hearts cafe' which is a great restaurant near our hotel. It supports single mothers and children in the local area by donating its profit, and provides the children with two hot nutritionally balanced meals each day so people if you ever eat in the sacred valley you have to go there. Now we are in the hotel and just resting and getting ready for our first day on a big trek tomorrow!