Our First Day in Ollantaytambo

The Groton Peru Gang woke up after a restful night to this spectacular view. We spent the majority of our time looking up at the ruins and granaries that lined the mountain side before breakfast. After a delicious breakfast of fresh bread, scrambled eggs, and papaya juice, we set out into the town on a scavenger hunt. We walked all around Ollantaytambo taking pictures in front of places like the town hall, police station, market, and ruins.
During most free time during the day we played different card games, a favorite was this game called last card. The games were very competitive with a lot of screaming and yelling. Since we do not have our phones, we typically gather around the table in the courtyard to play, but we resorted to the balcony when games got too intense.

The card games ended when lunch was ready. Most of our meals always consist of some type of soup, rice, and then a mixture of main plates. For lunch we ate “Olluquito con Carne,” a mix of meat and potatoes. Following lunch, we were led to another part of the town by our guide Fernando, to see the final processions of the week-long festival of el Señor Choquekillka.

After our stroll through the streets of Ollantaytambo, and through the mountains, we landed smack center of all the festivities. In the center of all the commotion, was a magnificent float like structure of el Señor Choquekillka. There was an abundance of offerings set out in front of the display make up of mostly food. After the ceremonies, the mayor distributed the food among the police, security, religious personnel, and other important people in the town. Then the mayor announced that they would be giving out one of the offerings to a tourist who came forward. The one and only Luke Benedict “Rojo Grande” stepped up and received a gigantic platter of guinea pig, chicken, rice, home-made cheese and other local delicacies. As a group, we demolished the plate of food using only our hands. We stayed until around 6:00 leaving after all of the ceremonial dances. One of our guides, Panchito, was participating in one of the traditional dances.
We are off to homestays tonight! Stay tuned for another blog tomorrow!

-Grace & Kevin