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2015-05-25

Ollantaytambo

The village of Ollantaytambo is where the roads end and where we boarded a train to reach Aguas Callientes (also known as Machupicchu Pueblo) , the township at the foot of the of ridge where the ancient city is located.

The whole area of Ollantaytambo village and fortress is a mid 15th century construction when the Pachacutec Inca conquered the area and added this strategic location to his personal estates. The village on the flat is still inhabited by people to this day.   This village is a site of one of the few victories by the Inca over the Spaniards, when in In 1536, on the plain of Mascabamba, near Ollantaytambo, Manco Inca defeated a Spanish expedition, blocking their advance from a set of high terraces and flooding the plain. The victory blocked further Spanish advance along the Urubamba River valley.

The temple complex at Ollantaytambo was approximately 40 to 50% complete by the time the Spanish came, but all the same the workmanship of the completed temple walls was  superb.

2015-05-24

Pisac

We travelled to the Sacred Valley and the village of Pisac. Located some 45 minutes drive to the north and east of Cusco.

The village itself is a good experience, with a local food market and an artisan market in full swing. So much colours and and  Music. Very tasty foods.

High above the village is one of the best preserved hilltop villages of the pre-conquesta era. Researchers believe that Písac was built around 1440, and defended the southern entrance to the Sacred Valley, as it had religious, military and religious sections.

 

2015-05-23

Qorikancha and Saksaywaman

Today we explored the Qorikancha and Saqsayhuaman.

Qorikancha was the main temple complex in the Cusco city. It was dedicated mostly to the sun god Inti. Pizarro and his men stripped the temple of its gold plating, and then as part of asseting thier rule, they destroyed the temples, burnt the scared mummies of the 14 Incas (Inca ==> king) and  the built a Dominican monastery on the site.

Saqsayhuaman was the military citadel perchech high  (about 350 – 400 meters higher elevation)  above Cusco. Unfortunately Conquistadores have used the stone form the constructions for the 14 churches in the Cusco city.

View of the Cusco city from up there is breathaking.

2015-05-21

Cusco – first day

First day in Cusco was spent acclimating to the altitude – 3400 m or 11,200 feet is not a joke.

Today we wondered around, had a a lunch in the main plaza of the old city and then went back to the hotel to sleep off the 41 hour transit.

Old city of Cusco is a very pretty place.

2015-05-21

Transit in Santiago

Stopover in Santiago de Chile, watining for flight to Lima. Of the small mercies of international flights:  lounge access.

 

2015-05-20

Peru: here we go.

Cloudy and rainy morning at the Canberra airport. The sun is just peeking over the hills, and lights up the clouds. Airport is, as is expected and usual for this time of the moring, busy.

more updates form the other side of this series of flights.

2015-05-07

Peru: adventure coming soon

We will be going to Peru in near future. Hopefully we can keep up with the photo taking and posting to this site as we go.

2015-01-03

Wat Nokor Bachay

Wat Nokor Bachay

Wat Nokor Bachay

Wat Nokor (Wat Nokor Bachay) in Kampong Cham is a relatively small temple complex, built in the Angkor-Khmer style.

According to a legend, the temple was built by a king who accidentally killed his father and married his mother. As recounted in the Greek legend, this King was put out by his father after a seer told him that his son would kill him. The son, however, did not die and returned to his kingdom not knowing that his father was the King. After quareling on the road, the son killed the King and married his Queen who was his mother. Upon discovering his crime, this young man built Wat Nokor in penance for his crime.

2015-01-02

Bayon Temple

Morning visit to the Bayon Temple in the Angkor Thom complex.

The temple was built in the late 12th or early 13th century as the official state temple of the Mahayana Buddhist King Jayavarman VII. Its most striking feature are the 216 gigantic faces of Lokesvara (or as some claim, the king himself).

 

 

2015-01-01

Dawn Over Angkor complex

The morning of the New years day 2015 found us watching the pink and purple sunrise from Phnom Bakheng, a temple on a hill overlooking the Angkor Wat complex.

On the whole this has been a very good day. On this day we:

  • Watched the sun rise over the Angkor Wat archeological park
  • Rode on on elephant at Angkor Thom.
  • Visited several other ancient temples
  • Watched an Apsara dance performance.
  • Received some sad news, which will take quite a bit to process