A fantastic day for the Travelling Gong Show, with just limited amounts of gong-i-ness! Today, the family headed to the charming colonial town of Pisac, which sits at the base of an Incan fortress perched high on a mountain. Though we were a bit late getting a start to our day, we had four solid hours to explore some of what Pisac had to offer. Our initial intention was to go, grab a quick bite and then separate into two groups: those who climb and those who cab-it. The climbers would then tackle the steep, 4km trail up to the top of the ruins, gaining 2,000 ft in elevation. The “cabbers” would meet us circa two hours later at the top. Unfortunately we didn’t think we had enough daylight left to attempt the hike and instead we embraced everything else about Pisac (with a plan to return tomorrow but earlier than 2:00 pm!).
It was love at first sight for me, personally. Yes, it’s a bit touristy. However, the town oozes quaint and cozy all over the place and the market was to die for!!! We didn’t even make it five steps in when we had parted with 190 soles (relax, this is only $60 or so). Of course we had no intentions of purchasing anything until we were talked into trying on these gorgeous alpaca sweaters, made locally right in the valley. It started with just Piper. Then Alvi wanted to try on one (damn he looked fine!!), then me, and finally even Saffy got into the spirit and chose one. We were probably that ladies dream bunch of customers for the day!
This market went on for what seemed like kms and we were totally smitten. The girls stocked up on llama socks and then we made promises to return for a few really incredible pieces of art that we could roll up and bring home. We also had an opportunity to hold a few 2-week old goats ~ again, NO SHORTAGE OF CUTENESS here!
And then THIS really crazy-cool thing happened. Somebody called my name, and it wasn’t one of my peeps! It was a familiar sounding voice, I looked up from the array of mittens I was studying and who should I see but none other than my friend from the Canadian Red Cross, Sue Larkin!!!! This definitely calls for a WTF!!!! As IF I we would bump into each other here… in the valley, in the middle of nowhere in Peru?!!!! Now, I did know she was heading to South America prior to our leaving. In fact, we had every intention of exchanging emails and itineraries and trying to somehow connect. But life got busy and of course that never transpired. Yet there she was, in the flesh, with her husband Alex and two boys. WHAT A SMALL WORLD!!! Selfies and hugs ensued — pardon the pun, Sue, if you’re reading this lol. Turns out they are staying just 15 km away from us near Urubamba.
Adding to our high-flying spirits was the atmosphere of healing, energy and health. Everywhere we glanced were little shops selling herbs and potions and healthy-minded “stuff”. There was a real “new-age” feel to this place, as further illustrated by the number of friendly hippies we ran into.
On the way home, Piper and I had the bus driver pull over a few km before our stop so that we could get some more walking in. We are trying to average at least 6-8 km per day of walking in preparation for the craziness that lies ahead. The “Cabbers” got dropped off just near our house and took some time to chat with some of the locals.
This makes me nostalgic for South American markets (even if they did all start looking the same after awhile, lol). I think you’ll be thankful for those new sweaters when you do the salkantay!!! I heard it gets pretty chilly on the night of highest elevation! 🙂
They do kind of blend in after awhile, that’s true! We definitely loved this one though! Going back tomorrow! Thanks for all the great inspiration on your blog Ali! I still read it and we are likely going to do a PeruHop over to Lake Titicaca and then onto Bolivia!
I would have loved to been there at the markets. These sweaters are beautiful. Looks like a very good day. Do you get my comments ? Just wondered .Let me know though.
This blog is way too slow!!! You would have loved it!!! So many fine locally made things. The blankets are to die for. xoxo
Sam, loved the sweaters, beautiful! The pictures of “er”, I think they are pipes?????? LOL
And to run into someone you know, how delightful!
Hope the girls are settling into the trip with the enthusiasm you want.