The crew works six days a week, so on Sunday, Melissa, Erin, and I went to Pisac, the other quaint tourist town, after Ollantaytambo, in the Sacred Valley.
Terraced Inca ruins flow toward the town down the steep verdant hillside. The wide floodplain below glitters with the snaking Vilcanota River and irrigated fields.
Pisac itself is geared for tourism, being the first town in the valley that you hit after leaving Cusco. We saw more white people and heard more English than anywhere in Peru. The main plaza is filled to capacity with stalls selling souvenir everything: alpaca scarves, “Inca” figurines, “natural” artists’ pigments, and llama keychains, in addition to fruit, vegetables, and roasted meat on skewers—probably guinea pig.
Overheard at one of the stalls: an American dad saying to his teenage son, as the kid hands over $15 American dollars for an ”authentic” Inca keychain worth about 2 soles, “Once you make a deal you have to stick with it.” Talk about roasted meat on a skewer! Is that true? I’m from Los Angeles; I’ll have to ask Mike Ovitz about that one.