Photo Friday: Ollantaytambo, Peru

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Ollantaytambo, Peru

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?

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6 Comments on “Photo Friday: Ollantaytambo, Peru

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  1. Hi!.

    I really appreciate you to read the post to its very end. As far as comments are concerned, be sure you’ve made a follower since I find your blog funny, interesting and helpful, even though I happend to find it almost a week ago, and I’ve hardly had enough time to dive into it.

    I wish you good luck in your venture. I think much more people in Spain should share that american enterpreneur encouragment.

    Please, let me know if I make big mistakes, or what I write is tough to understand.


  2. Hi Liz!.

    I’m not such a traveller, but I can remember a trip I made with some friends to southern Spain a few years ago that did go wrong (and even could have gone worst).

    I’ve made sure (becouse I was on charge of that task) of booking enough rooms to stay night at the place. I made same fifteen phone calls and adressed a similar amount of faxes either. I’ve not only double, but triple checked everything. Southern Spain nights are warm, but we’d rather rest under a bit of shelter if possible (you know, floor, ceiling, walls and all that little things that make life confortable).

    But once there (after a nine-hour drive in the middle of august), tired, sweating (even stinking, somebody could tell; there were four of us in a little Corsa), and not really happy due to the lack of park places, a little “drowback” blows us right onto our (specially mine) heads.

    _I’m afraid you haven’t booked anything. Yours isn’t on my screen.
    _You must be kidding…
    _Of course I’m not…

    Air became more and more thick around us while she tried to be put through somebody at the travel office that was supossed to have helped us. At the counter I could feel my bud’s sharp glares making their way through my back, bracing for a great, ever heared, nag and wondering where to find a quiet and confortable public park away enough from the police’s glances.

    After a few minutes that seemed to last decades, the lady at the counter (at the hotel) came up with a something that apparently proved we were right and it had all been the travel office’s fault… but there were something else yet.

    At those days, the hotel, of course, was full of guests. For the first two days there were only a double room free, and as they left the hotel over the next days, there could -possibly- be more room.

    But the lady showed us she knows the tricks of the trade, even though she did so in a funny way (this is how it looked to us, taking into account how we felt at that point). As a doughter of hers worked and lived there, se inmediatily had her pick up all her staff and clear the room she was living in, and move back home for a few days -in spite of her nummerous and loud complains. That allowed us on one hand a weird sit-com scene to witness without meaning it, and on the other hand, the room we needed for the first days.

    At the end, hopefully, more available rooms sprung up so we, eventually, were able to enjoy our wished shelter for the whole time we spent there. Yet, not everything was going to be that easy. We had our rooms, but we had to move within the hotel from one room to another everyday. However, I think in order to balance the amount of disturbance we could have suffered, we were invited by the manager to have lunch for free for four days at a little restaurant of her own.

    Stressing, but funny!.

    I’m sorry if it’s been too long. I’m learning english and have to improve somehow my writting skills!.

    I don’t want it to be an off-topyc, but I must ask you, if you don’t mind, becouse I read it somewhere in this blog: How in the earth can someone make a living as a proffesional blogger?

    Thank you for sharing your experience and I wish you good luck!.

    1. haha what a crazy experience! Sometimes you can plan and plan but things outside your control are bound to come up. It seemed like everything went badly in Peru but I still loved it there.

      Feel free to leave lots of comments and practice your English 🙂

      Travel bloggers make money through many different channels, like advertising, sponsored posts, freelance writing and eventually press trips and the like. I am working hard on making it, but it’s a tough business to crack into!

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