26th January 2009

Sacred Valley

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Another interesting tour in Cusco was a whole-day visit of the Sacred Valley by bus. During that trip, we learnt a lot about the Incas. The civilization Inka, of Quechua culture, emerged around 1100 AD, had its golden age around 1400 AD, and disappeared in 1534, when the Spaniards kill their ruler. The most important Inca leader was Pachacutec (around 1400 AD). Incas were not only strong warriors, they were also good farmers and engineers. As Peru has only 4% of usable flat land, they built terraces on the sides of the mountains, to retain water and ease cultivation. Cultures went up to 4200 m high with irrigation system from top to bottom. Terraces were organised in 4 groups: in the bottom, coastal products like tomatoes; in the middle, corn (250 species), and other intermediate products; on the top, mountain product like potatoes; medicine plants were also grown depending on the land type and altitude.
We went to Corao, to see typical market place and a Guinea pig farm. Then, to Pisac, to visit terraces, old granaries, irrigation system and temples dedicated to Pachamama (mother Earth). We also got to see some Chakana (Andean cross) and an Intihuatana (solar calendar) like in Macchu Picchu. We stopped at Urubamba for lunch. We then visited Ollantaytambo, last living Inca city and sacred temples (more Chakana and Intihuatana). Finally, we visited Chinchero, famous for its textile tradition and its catholic church built on top of an Inca temple, dedicated to Venus (the planet).
With our heads full of Inca history, we are now ready to leave Cusco for our next destination: Arequipa.

This entry was posted on Monday, January 26th, 2009 at 5:42 and is filed under in English please !, news, voyages, worldtrip'09. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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  1. 1 On January 26th, 2009, Nora said:

    Wau! It seems like you guys have experienced more in a week that I have in my whole life!:)
    Sounds amazing and the pictures were gorgeus. It must have just taken your breathe away seeing all that.
    Really sorry to hear about your tummy though sis. Hope you´re feeling better already?
    And thank you for not eating the guinea pigs, I really appreciate you not dining on Väinös brothers and sisters and I´m sure he would too..:)
    Enjoy and take care!
    We miss you here in the snowy Helsinki. Yes, it’s snowing in here! It’ll melt tomorrow..:)
    Nora (&Mikko)

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