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Detail experience in Ollantaytambo as living Inca town

17 February 2014

Here is a little experience of one visitors of Ollantaytambo, and we will see how much he enjoyed it:

 

When I first visited the ruins of Ollantaytambo, I saw the Inca store houses up on the other side of the valley across the town. There’s no way I could have climbed up there back then, I was just too exhausted. I figured I’d visit them “next time”, whenever that would be. A couple of years passed, and “next time” finally came.

I found the way up by walking through the town to where it is said the plaza used to be in Inca times. Behind the back of a house is a rocky path leading up on the steep climb. There are a few other people who make the effort to come up here, but not very many. I suppose they are like me, wanting to explore everything, especially the places few others go.

The way up was guarded by a pack of dogs. The black one was clearly the leader, his intelligence backed up by his huge protector of a side-kick. The rough furry small one on the right was the “wise guy” while the one at the back was the hyped up nervous one. I stopped when I saw them, and snapped a photo. On taking a step forward, they cleared a path and let me through.

Quite soon you get to a point where the path splits in two. To the left you go up to the store houses, to the right you go to the buildings that overlook today’s plaza. I kept going up.

After a long walk, stopping to take aerial photos of the town below, I reached the store houses.

Although they no longer had any roofs, the air felt different when I stepped inside, like a different level of air pressure. With a sense of wonder, I sat down in one of the buildings built into a steep cliff face high above the valley.

It felt safe and welcoming, and I must have stayed for quite some time before I decided to head on further up to the outlines of bricks high above.

The path wasn’t very wide, but I made it up. I took a couple of photos, and a video, before something a little strange happened.

You know that feeling where all eyes are upon you? Like when you turn the corner into a bad neighbourhood and people turn to – at best watch you, at worst who knows?

That’s how I felt. I don’t believe or disbelieve anything I can’t prove or disprove. Whether the place was haunted or my subconscious just convinced me of it out of the blue, I felt a wave of panic come over me. I wanted to run back down the path, but should I trip it would be me doing the haunting.

Perhaps embarrassingly I whispered “por favor” into the wind. I wished I knew how to say please in Quechua. The menacing feeling got stronger, so I turned and began my controlled jog down the thin rocky path, forcing myself not to go any faster. I reached the store houses in about a 10th of the time it took me to climb up from them. The feeling was gone, but I had no wish to stick around. I continued my descent into the land of the living.

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A mandatory point to visit on your way to Machu Picchu is the town of Ollantaytambo, located about 90 km northwest of the city of Cusco, it is the only Inca city in Peru that still preserves its streets intact, the beauty of this town is magical since it is a living example of a perfect urban plan made ...
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