Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Trip to Písac

     After about three days in Cusco, Peru, Professor Falconi told us that we were going to be heading to a town called Písac. The previous year I had spent a month in Quito, Ecuador, and the town of Cusco seemed very familiar to me. As a result, I was under the impression that the towns would also be similar that we were going to visit in Peru. Fortunately, I was completely wrong. We took a fairly short bus ride to the town of Písac, and I remember waking up and looking down a vast valley. At the bottom was a small town surrounded by mountains that I believed would be an incredibly interesting town to stay in and spend a day or two. To my luck, as we descended into the valley, it ended up being our final destination. We arrived in the center of a market filled with kiosks owned by the residents selling various items such as: scarves, sculptures, and alpaca stuffed animals. I remember being incredibly excited about our stay, and I can explain why.
     Down in the valley was considered to be the colonial Písac, and along the side of one of the mountains were the ruins of the Inca city of Písac that was built in the 15th century. In order to get up to the ancient city, we took a bus ride to the top of the mountain and walked around with a guide that showed us the ruins. She explained to us the function of some of the houses, as well as the purpose of the many terraces we saw. From the guide, we learned that mostly members of the military lived high up in the mountain, and the terraces were built in order to allow for crops to grow in high altitudes. Overall, our stay in Písac was an amazing time as we were then able to hike down from the Inca ruins back to the town down in the valley. Furthermore, it allowed us to experience distinct differences between the ruins and the town that many tourists visit to engage with the locals and experience the well-known market.

Below are two pictures that I took during our stay. The first one is on the roof of our hotel that showcases our surroundings, and the second one is a view from the Inca ruins that overlooks the town below.

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