Ollantaytambo, Peru: an amazing alternative to Machu Picchu!
So it’s been way too long since I’ve uploaded a post onto my Photo Friday series! Bad blogger, I know. Looking back, I realized I’ve posted a lot of photos from Europe, where I spent most of my time. I need to expand my horizons! Why hadn’t I posted more stuff from Africa or South America?
Oh wait, I remember why, I’m still sifting through thousands of photos from Egypt and I’ve avoided looking too much at my stuff from Peru because that trip was quite possibly my biggest travel CATASTROPHE EVER! Nothing went right on that trip!
Where do I even start? About a month before I left for Lima, there were massive rainstorms and mudslides knocking out the trails and train tracks to Machu Picchu, closing it for months, and right during my visit there. That’s right, folks, I went to Peru and didn’t get to go to Machu Picchu. Biggest travel fail ever.
Or was it?
Because Peru’s start tourist attraction was out of commission for a while, there were hardly any tourists the entire time I was there. We had Cuzco pretty much to ourselves, which was amazing, and it also gave us the opportunity to really meet and chat with locals. Tourism dropped completely, which changed what would have probably been a super touristy city into one that felt a bit undiscovered.
As an alternative, we decided to book some day trips to visit other Incan ruins and smaller towns on the Inca Trail. Owing to our bad luck, we ended up getting to see a completely different side of Peru that few visitors get to see!
One day we went out to a place called Ollantaytambo, Peru, about 60 kilometers from Cusco. As my bad luck continued, my beautiful Canon SLR broke a few days into our trip. Did I mention I had paid a small fortune to rent a fancy wide-angle lens especially for the trip? Typical. Luckily I still had my point and shoot so I was able to capture some stunning landscapes around Cusco, including of Ollantaytambo (try saying that 3 times fast!) and this shot above.
Nowadays, Ollantaytambo, Peru is an archeological sight you can visit as a day trip from Cusco. Nestled high in the mountains, it easily feels like you step back in time, walking along the overgrown paths staring out at the lush green valleys and mountains. It almost felt like Switzerland. Local women amble by selling corn and hand-woven blankets, still dressed in the traditional Peruvian garb and hats. This area of the Cusco region is magical, from the bright blue skies to the misty mountains and valleys covered in yellow flowers, it feels like something out of a movie. Ollantaytambo definitely brought my spirit up and made me extremely happy after the disappointment of missing out on the famous Machu Picchu.
That was until we got to Nazca only to discover that a plane crash over the Nazca lines caused every flight company to be shut down and investigated. Sheesh, you win some you lose some.
Have you ever been to Peru? Have you ever had massively bad luck traveling or had a trip go completely wrong? How did you cope?