2:30 PM 27th September 2007
"Staircase to heaven"
The first legible thought that spurted to my mind when I saw the massive terraces disappearing into the heights - the one immediately following it being " and I need to climb it". Climb it we did and was worth every oxygen deprived step.
Named after a famous General - who helped Inca Pachacutec expand borders as north as Columbia and South as Argentina but was imprisoned for asking for the royal princesses hand, the name itself seems like a yogic exercise for the lungs. Pronounced "oy-yahn-tie-tahm-bo', it is Ollanta to the natives and has a very colorful history. Inka Pacakuti burned the town down and rebuilt it in the 15th century. in 1536 - see how exact dates appear once Europeans do - Inca Manco defeated Hernadando Pizzaro in a short lived victory.
The ancient town - with the Inka canchas - a walled block with a singular entrance leading to a courtyard surrounded by houses - is still lived in.
The top of the ancient fortress has a Sun temple and an astronomical observatory. The reference to Banos de la Nusta (ceremonial princess bath) makes it obvious that the purpose of this place is as confused as many others in Peru and much beyond a defense bastion against the Intis.
A mountain clearly visible from the bottom (9 o'clock in the photos above) shows an intricate structure in the middle of no where. This is an ancient refrigerator - a cool dungeon dug into the mountains to store grains and meat.
After a fulfilling day, we start back. We are scheduled to stop at a chicha brewery. We refused, opting to taste the product than the process.
Big day tomorrow.