FOOD FOR THE BODY AND EYE CANDY FOR THE SOUL – PERU PART 5

If you have been following along on my exploits in Peru, you are aware of a potentially devastating development.  After all, while the country has so many unique attributes – the people, the food, the landscapes, the history, etc etc my main personal goal was hiking up and through the many Inca ruins to see it all firsthand.  And, one of the key attractions was the climb at Machu Picchu, which was still two days away.  Fortunately I did not have to immediately contemplate my next move (or not) as the next part of our visit to Pisac and the Urubamba Valley contained no major stone steps to provide additional woe to my bruised ankle, although there were enough semi-inclined paths to add some intermittent pain tattoos.

Thankfully right after our visit to the ruins we got on the van and traveled – what else, upward through a mountain pass surrounded by tall trees onto to a series of smaller and smaller dirt roads, arriving at a most lovely destination, the Hacienda Huayoccari, a 300 year old estate that once belonged to the Lambarra Oehuela family.  Now this once private home is open to only a few privileged (ahem) visitors not only for a fine meal but also to enjoy the rather eclectic collection of Peruvian pottery and opulent artifacts as well as breathtaking gardens.  The entrance was inviting and we made our way in past gorgeous potted orchids and other colorful plants:

Huayoccari-Mansion-Art-Exhibition

IMG_2128

IMG_2149

IMG_2151

IMG_2152

IMG_2153

IMG_2150

Although the furniture and artifacts inside were priceless, there was still a very homey (high-end) feel to the inside of the hacienda, due in small part to the richly hued wood and tiles of the floors, walls and rafters.  The arrangement of all was so ingeniously set that at any moment I expected the patron to descend the steps to greet us:

IMG_2138

IMG_2131

IMG_2135

IMG_2137

IMG_2130

IMG_2129

IMG_2133

hacienda1

hacienda 2

The table settings kept the Peruvian theme with artfully crafted condor napkins:

IMG_2134

IMG_2142

After our Pisco Sour cocktails we enjoyed a delicious lunch and were then set free to enjoy the surrounding gardens. I especially liked the way the twisted tree limbs contrasted with the vivid flowers:

IMG_9225

IMG_9224

IMG_9223

IMG_8073

IMG_8076

IMG_8074

Our next stop was a small mountain village called Chinchero which was also known as “town of the rainbow.”  Chinchero was originally built as a resting place for Inca royalty back in the 1400’s and as is typical so all of our jaunts – we had to climb up a winding semi-steep road to get to a special center for weaving.  As we arrived a musical commotion started outside and all of our crew ran back out to see what was going on.  All except me – there was no running in my bag of goods at the moment – but as I sat on a bench waiting – the commotion – or should I say celebration parade came to me:

IMG_2182

IMG_2183 IMG_2184_2

After all were settled, our host started to talk to us about the special dyeing and weaving techniques of the village.  I should mention that Chinchero had the highest altitude of all the places we visited – over 14,000 feet and since it was later in the day it was getting downright chilly.  No worries, for our hosts had that wonderful hot coca tea at the ready.

The weavers were amazing – they pretty much do their craft 24-7 – with babies cocooned on their backs, while the older children helped or watched:

IMG_2188

IMG_2739

IMG_2740

IMG_2194

Only natural plants, seeds, etc were used to make the dyes that brightly colored their incredibly soft alpaca wool:

IMG_2744

IMG_2745

The finished goods were incredibly beautiful and many of them have now made their way back to the USA.

Time to head back to the Hotel Rio Sagrado, but eye candy continued as we enjoyed a spectacular view of the surrounding glaciers heading into the last golden rays of the day:

IMG_2166

IMG_2171

IMG_2174

IMG_2176

IMG_2195

IMG_2196

IMG_2209

IMG_2215

IMG_2240

The day wasn’t over yet.  Once at the hotel we couldn’t resist changing into shorts (it was much warmer at the hotel since it was ONLY 12,000 feet above sea level) and went to relax in the garden overlooking the Rio Sagrado.  The llamas however, had a different idea:

It was all good fun and we even got a chance to feed the older llamas dinner while their youngster had his:

IMG_9229

IMG_8094

IMG_8090

IMG_8096

I should also mention another little WTDGAP moment.  Remember those hammocks I had dibs on? Best laid plans…it seems that these lay so close to the ground that anyone attempting to “lounge”  pretty much ended up on their butts. Our tripmate Virginia actually did well on these hammocks:

IMG_8085

However, Virginia did have a couple of her own WTDGAP kerfluffles upon arrival at the hotel the day before.  First, there was a tiny fly convention going on at the upper corners of her room, but the hotel was able to dispatch them without too much ado.  More ado, however was needed when Virginia went out on her balcony for a bit to enjoy the view – and got locked out of her room. With no cell phone on hand, our exiled fellow traveler had to rely on the kindness of strangers walking along the grounds to get help.

All’s well that ends well and we were off to cleanup for dinner while the alpacas enjoyed a bit of greens desert and the last rays of the sun created this bucolic scene:

IMG_8078

Ah but I couldn’t close this post without giving you a peek at our room’s most divine shower:

IMG_8061

Suffice it to say after this and a few Moji/Piscos, my ankle was silenced for the rest of the evening.

IMG_8068

#

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s