I find myself wondering why I always have to pay one soles every time I have to urinate. They get you because they purposely remove the toilet paper out of the stalls so you pay for a few scraps of the necessity. So I thought I could be smart and bring my own toilet paper… but nope. They still get when you walk out of the banos. If I lived in this country, I’d honestly want this job guarding the bathrooms. I’d have fun with it and purposely give only one square of toilet paper to Asians and Canadians, two to Europeans and Americans, and half a square to children and the elderly. Jk.
We first visited the markets in Pisaq, known for their silver and jewelry making. My mom, aunt, and I all found treasures and were pretty happy shopping and haggling in the markets. I sorta feel bad for doing this, but I found a faster dirtier way to haggle. I just use my mom and team up against the sales people now. When I’m given a price, I say “Ay yo maa! Vente soles?!?!” And wave the item at her. Then we both agree it’s waaay too mucho and they’re more pressured to lower. I feel bad for doing it but it works woonnnndddeerrrsss. We then ate at the most amazing and delicious buffet restaurant right on the Urubamba River.
Then we visited the famous ruins of Ollantaytambo. The important middle city between Cusco and Machu Picchu. I climbed the tip top, saw the face of the mountain god carved mysteriously on the mountainside, and how this particular valley was used both agriculturally and militantly. It’s like playing “Where’s Waldo” looking for terraces, ruins and hidden temples. The entire area of Ollantaytambo is being internationally conserved for it’s sacredness.
The last attraction was even higher in elevation to a town called Chincherro. The indigenous Quechua weaving village where you’ll find all the ponchos, alpaca scarves, fabrics, bags, etc being sold in all the markets. Beautiful place.
As we head back to Cusco through the Andes, the roads are made on the mountains with a method called “Switchback.” Since the mountains are steep, roads go left, then right, then left, repeatedly to go higher and lower through the mountain ranges. Even if the neighboring town is only 15 miles as a condor flies, it may be double or triple in mileage by dirt road.