Our time has finished in the wonderful city of Cusco!
Personally, I have enjoyed every stop we have taken in the Inca capital, and cannot say enough about the hospitality of the people here (see Cusco In My Dreams). I know the clients have thoroughly enjoyed their time here too, along with their experience of visiting the amazing Machu Picchu.
No time to ponder on great times this morning, it is time to collect the clients from their hotel and take them & luggage to their vehicles. All nicely valeted and ready for the journey ahead!
We like to get away from Cusco early because of the traffic, also the many tourists transportations can clog up the roads leaving the city on their journey´s.
Our first stop will be to refuel the trucks just outside Cusco, and a quick bathroom stop for those that need it.
We are soon on our way again, and our journey will take us back towards Andahuaylas through the city of Abancay. Before we journey through Abancay we will make a coffee stop at a wonderful Inca site called Saywite (Sayhuite).
This small site is amazing in every sense, because of its location, and also the way it is constructed into the hillside. It is also considered one of the centres of religious worships for the Inca, and the Saywite Monolith depicts the themes of irrigation & water flow, which was one of the elements the Inca civilization worshipped the most.
The carving on the monolith can still be clearly seen, and although there are still unknowns about the carving, it shows the routes of different water systems, and certain animals like feline & reptiles like frogs. There are depictions of terraces, channels & irrigation systems, and although the site was considered used for sacrifice, that is something that remains unknown.
The site for us is a perfect backdrop for our Coffee Break, complete with bathroom facilities, much to the relief for our clients!
After a brief 45 minutes stop to enjoy the site, and have a relaxing brew after our 3 hours drive from Cusco, it is time to hit the road one more time and venture through the industrial city of Abancay, and back into the wilderness following the Pacachaca River to the only iron bridge along the route that crosses!
We then head up into the mountains one more time leaving Abancay way down in the valley below, and the views has we travel are really breath taking. Literally, because we will climb to an altitude of 3´500 Metres above sea level today, although the clients & guides have become well accustomed to the altitude.
It is amazing how least traffic there is along our route, except for a few motorcycles, moto taxis, and the occasional bus. You still need to keep your mind on the road, be aware always, there are many animals that wander the roads, with the winding route they can be upon you in an instant.
Todays picnic lunch is set in a small secluded archaeological site called Curamba. It is not well used by visiting tourists; however, it is situated on one of the Inca Trails which can still be seen & outlined has we make our way along the highway. Curamba is still used by the communities for festivals & religious gatherings.
An hour can soon pass when you are having fun out in the wilderness, but I must get back to help clear the lunch kitchen (Picnic table & provisions) away, wash down everything before packing it away in the truck.
A final check around the area, to make sure we have left no debris, and no trace we have been there. Happy everything is good; we swap drivers and it is my turn to do the remainder of the journey. No opportunity to take many photographs until we have a chance to make a couple of stops, but I can still enjoy the views ha we drive towards our next brief stop.
We will shortly arrive at the Pyramide Sondor, an amazing Inca site high up in the mountain region of Andahuaylas, and a very underestimated site. Unfortunately, we do not have enough daylight hours to explore the site, because we must get to the town of Andahuaylas before dark.
Our aim is to make the trip as safe has possible, so the least amount of night driving we can do the safer it is for our clients. We do have enough time at the ruins of Sondor to take some great photographs, although the light is fading, and we are now back on the route down into the valley, to skirt around Lake Pacucha and onward to our hotel.
I am sure we will look to find a great hotel alongside the lake here and make it our stop for the night but has yet we have not found a suitable accommodation that fits our high standards.
Our nightly stay will be at La Mansion and is a nice boutique hotel in the centre of Andahuaylas. We get the clients checked in, get their luggage to the rooms and we set a time for an amazing dinner.
Being an industrial city like Abancay, there are not many places open after sundown, but we have an amazing chef who opens his restaurant for our group and cooks a fantastic menu exclusive for our clients.
We are blessed with great food, and wine from the “Peru Safari wine cellar” on the guide vehicle. After dinner it is a few hundred metres walk back to the hotel for an early night’s sleep. It has been a great drive today, with amazing weather to ensure none of our views have been spoilt, but it has been tiring!
Tomorrow we will leave for one of our historical stops, which will be the city of Ayacucho. The drive is relatively short compared from today, and we will stay at one of the best hotels in Ayacucho, the historical Via Via Hotel.
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