I haven’t done much in the way of Macro Photography on this trip so far. This morning there was some really nice light and it was just touching some of the plants in the garden really softly, so I put on my macro lens and captured some of these…let me know what you think.
Ollantaytambo is a small village but there is always something happening. The other day was Ollanta Raymi, a festival that celebrates General Ollanta. So there were lots of processions and there was a whole production that took place at the ruins. I never went in to the ruins, but took some images of the processions and of Ollantaytambo as I wondered through the 500 year old Inca streets. It is amazing to think that when we leave here, we would have lived in an original Inca village in the high Andes for 3 months, amazing.
We decided to have a really nice lunch at the El Albergue restaurant this afternoon. It was a great place to eat and relax. It is the old hotel at the train station at Ollantaytambo. The building itself is an old building that has been restored and is a really eclectic place to hang out for a few hours. Good place to eat, really good food.
Ollantayambo is a small town, but has a lot of character. The surrounding mountains are imposing and in many ways define Ollantaytambo, its look and its feel. It really is an amazing setting, there are some walks that take you up high into the terraced mountains, well over 3000m above sea level, the views are breathtaking and the drop offs sheer. It is amazing to be here…what a privilege.
Ok, we are back on the grid of Wi-Fi access, so here goes. There was a festival here in Ollantaytambo last week to celebrate one of the saints of the valley. Details are a little sketchy as to what he did, but the whole town and valley for that matter go into 4 days of merrymaking. They have dancing and music in the central plaza for pretty much four days non-stop. They sing, dance, drink and dance and sing and…you get the idea. They dress up in incredibly colourful costumes and then the various dancing groups parade through the plaza and do their various dances, all accompanied by their own marching band. The sounds are incredible, the sights are amazing and the mixture of everything is a bit intoxicating. On the last evening they have a big fireworks display, in most other countries, a display of this size would require that people need to be probably 50 or more metres away, but there are no such rules in Peru. In fact, I stood just 10 metres from the main fireworks display and could feel the heat…
We enjoyed the festival a lot, there is another one in a months time called Inti Raymi, looking forward to it….
The town that we are living in now is called Ollantaytambo (pronounced OH-YUN-TA-TUMBO) It is in the heart of the Sacred Valley of the Incas and is in fact a real living, breathing and authentic Inca town that has survived the Spanish Inquistion and was left pretty much in tact. We are here until August, working at Apu Lodge. The towns setting is breathtaking, it is set in the cleft of a Mountain and is completely surrounded by mountains. Also, according to Inca mythology, Tunupa’s Face (Tunupa was a god that the Inca’s believed created just about everything) has been enshrined into the mountainside just above the lodge that we are in. So, take a look at the top image of this post and see if you can see his face.. We are so happy to be living in such a beautiful place, the mountains are amazing and the setting is spectacular…
I am sure that many of you must be thinking that we have dropped off the face of the planet. Well we havent, the thing is this, we have taken up a volunteering opportunity in Ollantaytambo until the second week in August. We are quite excited, we are volunteering at a lodge in Ollantaytambo called Apu Lodge. We are helping the owner with the marketing, finance and general day to day stuff. We are excited because we are sure we can help make a difference, plus we will be able to explore the Sacred Valley here in a lot more detail. So, we will be here until August. After that we will do a whistle stop tour of Brasil and Uruguay and then back to Buenos Aires before we jet home on the 1 Sept 2010.
In the meantime, I was going through some of my images from Antarctica the other day and found quite a few more Pano’s, so I have uploaded them for you to look at…let me know what you think! REMEMBER TO CLICK ON THEM to see them bigger….