Have just got back from a fabulous trip to Urubamba, a small town in the Sacred Valley, where we spent Tims birthday. It was awesome to be out of a tourist centre. To glimpse genuine Andean life and not be treated as a money machine... The Quechans seem to be such a warm, genorous and loving people. Yesterday we hired mountain bikes and bustled around the valley. We made it up to these amazing "salinas" or Salt Pans, terraces that have been exploited for salt since Inca times. They were still working at them, with chisel and hammer. We wanted to go further up the mountain, to a place called Moray where there is an old Inca site, but it got insanely steep and sheer. A couple of shephard boys caught site of us and we swapped- mountain bike for shephards crook. They half carried, half rode the bikes along as we tended the (pretty manky but still kind of cute) lambs and mules. The locals farm so high up the mountains... a whole community up there in this remote, snowy place.
Dusk was setting in as we whipped down the 2 hour ascent in 20 minutes. Bit scary.
Other delights included tasting the cactus fruit from a local womens garden (so weird this sweet, lucious thing coming from such a gnarly spikey plant) and seeing the guinea pigs on a spit which is part of the old staple for these guys! (Blugh)