Thursday, July 7, 2011

Trekking Phase

The group just arrived in Ollantaytambo after 3 days of trekking. On the first day the team climbed above the snow line to a height of about 4200m, where we had a hot lunch and started the descent down a half hour later. On the trek many members had a hard time with altitude, including Olga, who had to ride a horse down from from the mountain top due to altitude sickness. Unfortunatly we don´t have any pictures to upload yet, as Ms. Barnard is still in the hostal right now.

The second day was an easier trek that lead downhill from our original campsite down to the town of Ollantaytambo. Some members of the group were feeling pretty rough and had to take a bus down instead of trekking. The trek followed a mountain road and passed through a Quetcha highschool and lots of rural mountain towns where we got to meet and talk to the local kids. Upon arrival lunch was ready for us and the tents were already set up. Later that night we climbed the Incan Ollantaytambo ruins and learned the love story that surrounded it, and that Ollantaytambo is the only still populated city that features the orriginal architecture of the Inca.

The third day we split up into two groups, one that climbed up to an Incan quarry and another that explored the city and markets. I was in the group that went hiking, so I can´t talk for the group that toured th city. The climb up was steep, but after about 3 hours we were greeted with a view of the entire city and an ancient Incan quarry, where there were large stones that were being worked on when the Spaniards came, and all construction was halted.

Today we leave for Aguas Calientes, and the next morning we wake up around 1am to get bus tickets to Machu Pichu. There may be another computer we could use tonight to upload some pictures, but if not it may be awhile.

-Clay Shropshire

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