This morning we explored the fortress of Ollantaytambo. The ruins are built into the mountain right on the edge of town. There are massive stone terraces and structures. Ollantaytambo is at the junction of two rivers and this fortress is the site of a battle in which the Inca beat the Spanish at least initially. The water system is prett impressive too. We climb up to the top on one side and then back down on the other.
This afternoon we climb up to the ruins on the mountain opposite the fortress. In this picture you can see the three big buildings we climbed up to initially. Duke wanted to climb from there up to the ruins you can see above the three buildings. I initially said no but then agreed to go along There was a pretty amazing view from the top.
This morning we started out early and got a taxi to the Pampa de Huánuco also known as Huánuco Viejo. It was the ancient capital of the Northern Inca Kingdom. The ruins are surrounded by grassland. We got an early start so we were the only ones there.
After we were done exploring the caretaker told us that if we started walking back to town someone would come along and give us a ride. We ended up walking about 5 miles or three quarters of the way back to town before we finally got a ride.
When we got back to La Union Duke arranged a shared taxi to take us the 130 kilometers to Huánuco. It turned into quite an ordeal. There were five of us in the taxi. I was in the middle in back. The taxi had essentially no cushions or springs and the road twisted and turned and was full of potholes. The 130 kilometers trip took three and a half hours. My behind may never be the same again.
But now we are in a very nice hotel in Huánuco ( The Grand Hotel Huánuco) and we’re looking forward to resting for a few days. We just finished a great dinner in the restaurant.
Our plan this morning was to take a taxi to the collectivo station and then catch a collectivo to Ollantaytambo. But we got in the taxi and he offered to drive us to Ollantaytambo for 120 soles or about $35 dollars. The collectivo plus taxi ride would have been about 30 soles but what the heck! As far as I am concerned it was totally worth it. It was about a two hour ride and the taxi was vastly more comfortable than a collectivo would have been.
Upon arriving we discovered that today is the annual town birthday fiesta. There were people everywhere and dancing and a parade and military units and school kids and representatives from every local town. We got a table and a beer and people watched for a long time
There is going to be music and drinking and dancing all night. Luckily the hotel we are staying at, Hostal Samanapaq is a ways from the main square.
There are ruins on the side of the mountain right on the edge of town. We will explore them tomorrow.