Peru: Pisac in the Sacred Valley

It is already late in the afternoon when we arrive in Pisac. I am hoping we are going to spend some time at the ruins here, which are supposed to be amazing, but we are instead directed to the market.Pisac is known for its Sunday market and, even this late in the day, the main shopping street is a warren of shops selling every imaginable tourist item — including a lovely antique-looking doll and elegant leather purse that leave my wallet lighter.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Peru - ExplorationVacation 2006-01-01_15_57_27 Peru - ExplorationVacation 2006-01-01_15_52_32%20hats%20for%20sale_3The local market set up in the plaza is perhaps more interesting. Even this late in the day vendors are selling produce of every type amid packing up and visiting.

It is a colorful scene and has a lively, sociable feel.

Peru - ExplorationVacation P1010050_0Peru - ExplorationVacation 2006-01-01_15_49_09_6 Peru - ExplorationVacation 2006-01-01_15_57_38 Peru - ExplorationVacation 2006-01-01_15_48_04_5Peru - ExplorationVacation 2006-01-01_15_50_36_6Peru - ExplorationVacation 2006-01-01_15_54_21%20terracingThe plaza itself is encircled by a church and other classic old buildings, with terraced mountainsides rising above.

Everything is terraced here, from the base to the very top of each mountain. Awesome.

Peru - ExplorationVacation 2006-01-01_15_51_37%20bell%20tower%20w%20terraces_13Outside the tourist market, the streets are filled with people wearing a variety of local clothing styles of traditional dress. It is nearing the end of the day, and many congregate in and along the streets. Women with brightly wrapped bundles (the heavy woven shawls worn here double as a bag for carrying items of all sizes – up to and including small children) move through the streets in small groups and crowd the bus stops.

Peru - ExplorationVacation P1010047Evidently there were yayas meeting here too. A group of a dozen or so men with woven capes featuring streaks of brilliant pink are loudly heading toward the bus. Most of the men appear young and seem out-of-place, but the leader of the group is older and clearly feels in his element. He carries a staff or scepter (the vara) indicating his authority as a varayoc, but he is also drunk (too much chicha and llonque) and belligerent.

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