Trip Start Aug 02, 2010
28Trip End Sep 28, 2010
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
At about 10.30 we set off to Ollantaytambo. We took a local bus as far as Urubamba, and then changed into a minibus for the half-hour drive to Ollantaytambo.
Ollantaytambo is a small place, with cobbled streets and Inca street planning, some ruins, but is primarily used as the place where the backpacker train to Machu Picchu starts from. On arrival we had some lunch at a cafe on the square, Hearts Cafe, which was set up by an English woman to raise money for local indigenous people as well as providing employment for people. Paul had quinoa porridge and I had lentil soup, and both were delicious.
We relaxed during the afternoon as it was hot, and we didnīt fancy clambering up ruins in the heat of the day. The place seemed fairly quiet in the day, apart from a few tour buses, but come the evening we had trouble getting into any of the restaurants, as they were overrun with tour groups. Eventually we found one just off the main drag where there were a lot of Peruvian tourists, as well as some locals.
We had a set menu for 15 soles, about 3.50 pounds. We shared garlic bread and avocado starters, and then both had quinoa and vegetable soup, which was full of spinach, green beans, tomato, carrots and cheese. Then Paul had a steak, chips and rice, and I had butterflied chicken breast, chips and rice.
Next to us on the table (in Peru people just sit at an empty seat, whether they know their fellow diners or not) was a Peruvian lady who put all her leftovers, including soup, into a plastic bag, to the waiter's disgust. She even asked him for our leftover rice, but he wouldnīt give her it. When she got outside she gave it to a little dog.
This morning we woke up early and visited the ruins at Ollantaytambo. They were less extensive then those at Pisac, and much less high.
The most exciting thing was witnessing a falling-out between a French couple in front of us in the queue. It seemed to be about the cost of the tickets. Voices were raised, then she flounced off while he stood gazing moodily at a wall. Then he moved to the exit gate. She climbed higher, and when we passed her was deep in conversation with some other French people.
When we came out we sat outside a cafe on the square, eating breakfast. We saw the French man going past with his rucksack. It appeared that the rupture was permanent. He stood looking around the square, as if looking for her, but she didnīt appear. He then slouched off towards the bus stop and was seen no more. We saw her later on coming out of our hostel, but she didnīt seem bothered.
When that excitement was over we picked up our bags from the hostel and went to the train staion to catch our train to Aguas Calientes.