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The Amazing New Adventures of Larry and Mark - Peru, Land of the Incas

Chapter 15

The Sacred Valley and Pisac



After our morning stop at Awana Kancha in Taray (see map) we are approaching 

the town of Pisac and we are in for some great views of the Sacred Valley of the Incas.



 There's probably no straight way you can go by land from one place in Peru

to another.  Down into one valley, then up another mountain, and down again.

We came around a corner and the view opened up into the Sacred Valley.

The Urubamba Valley is also known as “El Valle Sagrado de los Incas”, or the

Sacred Valley of the Incas.



This valley's elevation is quite low (2000 feet) and the weather is very pleasant.  The valley

has very fertile soil, and was historically planted with potatoes, maize (corn), grain,

squash, onion, cabbage, kumquat, prickly pear (cactus pear) and peach.


The river Urubamba flows all the way to the Pacific coast.



The archeological site Pisac is frequently compared with Machu Picchu, due to its

elegantly simple lines which blend with the hills around it.



 We are entering Pisac here.  The woman in red stands there, and her daughter runs

up to people to try to sell them stuff.



I wouldn't want to be sitting on an inclined surface, way above these Inca

walls.  But the workers were quite comfortable up there, and

one waved to us as we went by.



Roof reconstruction shows what the homes looked like in Inca time.



This view looks down on the town of Pisac in the Sacred Valley.



The agricultural sector spread out with its long terraces called "andenes" that were

spaced out along the hillside.  Since long before the Inca, terraces turned steeply

sloping land to efficient food production.  The basic structure of the terraces show

large rocks on the bottom, smaller on top, then sand from the stream bed, covered

by fertile soil.  So much of this had to be moved by muscle power from the land below.




Inca architects were masters of moving water effectively from

its source to where it was needed for irrigation and baths.



Lines on the peak across the valley show the Inca paths which have been used

for centuries.  Tens of thousands of kilometers of Inca roads exist in western

South America.  More on this later.


In the walls above and behind the terraces, caves can be seen which

were used for generations as a burial ground




The dead are placed in a fetal position in the caves, facing east to "see"

 the sunrise.  In the high, thin air, the dead mummify and dry quickly.




Next, we head down to the Pisac marketplace.





More soon!


Larry Reich


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