Ollantaytambo and the Sacred Valley

After driving from Morray to Maras salt mines and then down into the sacred valley, we stopped at a buffet where the food was amazing and they had Cuí (guinea pig) and Alpaca (a camel) as dishes to try. Cuí tastes a lot like rabbit and Alpaca is dry much like water buffalo I used to eat in Nepal. Here is a picture from online I found of Cuí to give you an idea. Mmmm appetizing no?


We arrived the next morning at the magnificent site of Ollantaytambo, an amazing fortress built into the mountain overlooking the entire valley and the sacred Urubamba river. On the opposite hillside are other structures, temples or burial sites with the face of Veracocha seen to be sculped from the living mountain near the structures on this hill.

The Inca also inherited this site! and (re)built some amazing terracing leading up to the megalithic and more ancient fort on top of the hill. This is a strange site with huge perfectly cut stones littering the lower courtyard and earthquake toppled megaliths found at the top. The walls of the upper fort are still perfectly intact, but are “unfinished” according to the local guides and historians. The large walls of the fort at the top are of a stone that comes from the mountain across the river, 15 miles away, believed to also be the quarry for the stone from the Inca Gate, more than 50 miles away. There are no wide trails up to the quarry, but the story is the stones were cut and rolled down the mountain and then pushed with gravel and water to the top of the next!!? Logic deflates this quickly. If these stones were rolled down the mountain from the quarry they would have shattered like into many pieces, even run away down the mountainside under 80-100 tons of its weight. Likewise pushing 80-100 tons up the next mountain on gravel with water seems a bit strange and very unrealistic as well. It would take 3500 men to move these stones, and yet there is no room for any of them to stand on the trails to move them. more mysteries…

Around the corner from the main site and several hundred feet or more from the guy with the whistle, is an interesting roped off cliff side and place of massive removals and again stairways up and down the cliff. There is a water channel that comes into the site here with both megalithic stones perfectly fitting and then the later fixed up job of the Inca with broken stones and clay filling. Once the guard wasn’t looking I jumped the rope and shimmied about 60-100 feet to a ledge with 4 false windows carved into the face of an alcove and then directly behind me a perfect 1/3 to 1/2 round alcove with many lichen patches(age = old!) and 6 inch spread 1/4 inch wide/deep grooves criss crossing the entire bottom (also old) and partially up the back wall. Look similar to what someone would do to add a statue to like when merging 2 pieces of clay, but also looked like a removal process. Maybe the lines were sunk under the structure to vibrate it but then how do you cut a half circle wall behind. look all done at once but by what and when. My next goal was to go to the next ledge, but had to react this by going up 2 not so safe stone step ways up to a level that had a platform or stone table top placed/altar perched on more cut and removed rock. Once up there I noticed that that piece was not from the indigenous rock (so whats it doing up here), and looking back over the picture of the ledge I noticed a huge removal above me and another ledge with tuned rocks for what purpose no one really knows.

A very strange site, and my favorite of the trip thus far.

Here is the main site…

Here is the water works site around the corner with tool marks and strange removals…

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