14.08.2010 6 °C
Cool Sunny day.
We all pile into group bus for a road trip to Ollyantaytambo, on route we drop into Chinchero to see local family do their song and dance showing us how to take Alpacca wool from Aplacca to garment or blanket
Have to say that was a lesson in natural product use and patience. 58 days to make a small blanket which sells for $150 Soles ($60 AUD). Works out to $1.00 AUD per day. No patterns are followed, all info is held in the old traditional hard drive (Brain).
Chincero is 3600 metres up, so jsut another gentle reminder not to walk fast. Steady as she goes is the deal.
A short trip from Chincero we dropped into a Salt production area. The Incas have been using a salty spring since 800 years before Christ. Had to work out how water is salty at 3600 metres in the middle of the Andes mountains. Evaporation lakes litter the mountain side, families run their own lakes (ponds) and tender the salt for sale in large batch lots. Hard`yakka for salt.
We walked thru the salt ponds down to the Sacred Valley for lunch. Later in the afternoon we met up in Ollyantaytambo for some free time and purchase the last fee things we needed for the trail. Even the mossies are in form in the cold months, something we thought would not be required when we left Australia.
Met up later with guide Zak for our brief and to collect our kit for the trail. Bag limit was 10KG including sleeping bag, down jacket and all personal gear for porters to carry. This leaves about 3 - 4 KG's for personal gear. Not much but we were under weight. All packed and ready to rumble the next morning at Kilometre 77.
Off to resturant for some Alpacca (a little dry) but tasty. A few reds and local beers made sure of a good nights sleep (lord knows how the next 3 nights would be so I made sure I got a good one in before we hit the trail).
Tomorrow is a tour of Ollyantaytambo and the ruins.