Choquequirao Trek Part II: Images of the Past
Choquequirao means “cradle of gold” in the Quechua language.
After another filling lunch and a rest, we started up the trail to visit the Choquequirao ruins. I won’t go into too much details here. You can read about Choquequirao here. But here are some of the images from our visit:
We decided to make the hike down beyond the main ruins to visit the Llama Terraces. These incredible structures were only discovered in 2004 and they were almost entirely intact, and required no reconstruction. The walk down to see them is pretty steep and the steps that the Incan’s used to access them are even steeper. Walking down them and looking into the valley below gave me a bit of vertigo, so I only went a little way.
These were agricultural terraces decorated with giant stone inlays depicting the sacred llamas. At the top of the terraces was a long wall with an image of a snake–another power animal of the Incas.
We were lucky to see the Llama Terraces—usually the 4-day trek does not include them because there is not enough time. The trade-off was that we walked back to camp in the dark—which meant that I walked even s-l-o-w-e-r! But another wonderful dinner was ready when I arrived!
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Choquequirao Hike Part III: Down and Up—Again!
The hike up seemed to get longer as we got closer to the finish. The last 15–20 switchbacks seemed interminable. I was stubbornly refusing to ride the horse and I made it to the top on my own—worn out but thrilled at the accomplishment.
Growing Salt: The Salineras
I was fascinated with this ancient site where salt has been harvested for over 500 years and maybe even for a millennia. So, on Thursday I decided to again hike up to the salt farms—a beautiful and tough climb from the Sacred Valley.
Celebracion de 60 Compleanos en Isla Amantani
The tienda faces the plaza and there were some young men outside on the steps. Meliza and I moved outside to sit near them. I asked if they could spin. Freddie, sitting next to me smiled broadly and said yes, and he started using the little Turkish spindle while his friend tried out the one that Ben made me.