The Sacred Valley is indeed a magical place! We had the fullest day yesterday and there is so much to write about so I will make an attempt at describing our day. I can’t post any photos because the WiFi is really slow. Funny, there is one hot spot here at the hotel in the lobby, so six of us are tapping away on our laptops and ipads. We have one hour before we head out to Machu Picchu!
We left our hotel for the Sacred Valley Tour yesterday around 10 am. Our first stop was Sacsayhuaman (sounds just like “Sexy Woman”), an incredible archeological site built by the Incans where Temples and palaces once stood. What remains are gigantic rocks, the foundation of the temple. The rocks were carried from 50 km away, each one weighing around tons. There is one rock estimated to weigh 120 tons. The stones were transported by use of wheels based on the disc shape of the sun. The huge stones are perfectly cut to fit into each other. In an earthquake zone, these rocks have not budged as they are so perfectly fit together with intricate angles which have symbols that still mystify today. There is one place where the rocks were purposefully placed together to form a llama. The temple was called the Temple of Lightning and so there used to be zig zag designs depicting lightning striking. As we stood with Gustavo, our wonderful guide, we could hear thunder! All of these temples and palaces were destroyed by the Spaniards who took the stones to make the foundations for their homes and churches back in Cusco and elsewhere. The golden idols were also stolen by the Conquistadors. The Incans were advanced in the arts of architecture and agriculture. The site sits up on a hill and had a condor’s view of the Sacred Valley spread out below with beautiful green mountains rising high. The weather was comfortable, with the strong sun coming through the clouds at times.
From there we went to Awana Kancha, a textile and weaving cooperative. Beautiful hats, sweaters, coats, various weavings, scarves, all made from alpacas were being sold here. We also got to see the llamas and alpacas in the fields. We got to pet them. And we saw how the various natural dyes are made. The colors come from plants, insects and minerals. We got to see the whole process of how the wool is made cleaned, dyed, woven, and made into beautiful textiles. We went a bit shopping crazy in a very short time! The designs on these beautiful hand made textiles are of lakes, stars, mountains, animals, and people. Part of the magic of this cooperative and the textile products is the loving and patient labor that goes into the work. I was so moved by this place. (pictures to come later!!)
I am going to have to go pack for our next destination: Machu Picchu!!!
I will write more about the Spiritual Music we heard yesterday from a group called Sonqo. And I will write about the Shaman who came to our beautiful hotel and did an Earth Mother ceremony. I will also write about this gorgeous hacienda we had lunch at. We went to bed so full of the magic of this place.
AM Sacred Valley Tour
Lunch Casa Hacienda Orihuela
SONQO Group I talked to Jorge, who manages this group SONQO and I got a good
feeling about him and the service he will give us. I booked
the PACHA service which is described below:
Ethno-cultural project PACHA is a product of ultimate field research by beto martinez, musicianperuvian long career and across the magical spiritual expressions of andean village, able to synthesize their cosmogony in a musical and theatricalwork that is intended encourage collective memory both local and universal. PACHA is a proposal that involves the viewer, as being ofmusical character, a ritual is also involved inwhich all these.rescue is more relevant cultural values of the andes as the concept of apus, coca leaf, the chacana, the four elements and music ringtones that characterizes it.
Jorge explained that he will briefly explain the calling to the three worlds (air, land and underground)
and asked everyone to sit (or lay) in a circle to listen to the music and at the end answer any questions
people might have. They will play several organic instruments and the idea is for people to feel
the different worlds through the music.