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We were met at the airport in Cusco by our two naturalists/guides for the week and boarded our buses for the drive to Urubamba in the Sacred Valley. Our guide, Kathy, spoke beautiful, clear English. With both an Inca and Spanish heritage, she had many interesting stories to tell about the Inca people, the Spanish conquest of the Incas and life in Peru today.Chinchero Market

Chinchero Market

Our first stop was the market in Chinchera. Every Sunday, the locals come to Chinchera to buy their produce, sell their crafts and socialize with their neighbors. It was our first look at the colorful dresses and unique hats worn by the Peruvian women. And the beautiful, wide-eyed children.Peruvian Woman and Baby We learned that it is customary to ask if you can take their picture and then to give them $1 Sol which is the equivalent to about 30 cents.

Urubamba is the largest town in the Sacred Valley with around 20,000 people. The Sacred Valley lies along the Urubamba River and was very important to the Incas. Here they built their retreats, palaces and sacred places. It is called sacred due to the glacier topped mountains, the fertile soil and the corn which was grown for the nobility during Inca times. Taxis in UrubambaThe main occupation of the people living in the Sacred Valley is agriculture, followed by tourism. Farming is done during the wet season from October thru April. From May thru Sept. in the dry season, the main occupation is construction and porters for the hikers treking to Machu Picchu. Taxis in Urubamba are cute little covered 3 wheel motorized tri-cycles. On top of the roofs of houses and businesses we noticed two ceramic bulls , sometimes with a cross. This is often given as a gift to signify prosperity. Bulls on Roof


Carvings on Lunch BuffetWe arrived at our lodging for the next two nights in time for a wonderful buffet lunch on the back lawn, complete with fancy food carvings decorating the buffet table.Sol y Luna Hotel Rooms The Sol y Luna Hotel consists of individual round huts along gorgeous flower lined paths. Each hut has a large bedroom with two queen sized beds and a large bathroom with marble tub and shower. After so little sleep and alot of hours on planes and airports to get here, the beautiful surroundings were a welcome site.

Seminario ArtistA short nap after lunch and we were ready for our visit to the Pablo Seminario ceramic workshop and gallery. Seminario pieces are sold all over the world and we enjoyed a demonstration of the way the pieces are hand painted. Naturally we had to bring home a few souvenirs.Seminario Ceramics






Dinner at Sol y Luna that evening was delicious but the best part was the exquisite (and delicious) dessert offerings.Fred's Dessert Fred had a chocolate concoction that was shaped like a baby grand piano, complete with music and keyboard. Barb's DessertBarb had an exotic dessert with several ice cream scoops.






To view additional photos from the Sacred Valley around Urubamba, go to the Urubamba Photo Gallery.

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