After Dr Tallon had kindly prepared the sandwiches we walked to the bus terminal for services to Pisac. 'Bus terminal' is a generous term as most local services here operate out of pothole ridden concrete walled yards in the middle of dense city blocks. Here you part with 3 Soles and jump on a bus with the locals, packed in like sardines.
The bus wound its way up past Saqsayhuaman which extends much further than the area we visited yesterday, spanning a network of citadels and fortresses along the northern side of the Cusco valley. Beyond here we pass the sites of Tambomachay and Puku-pucara, more fortresses. We drove straight past as our destination was another 20km up the road.
It began to rain lightly as we headed up through town towards the track leading to the ruins of Pisac. The Sunday market here is famous but we decided to avoid the tourist trap by visiting on a Monday. We were rewarded by quiet trails winding up the valley wall.
The track took us steeply up the terraces around the cliffs upon which Pisac was built. The most prominent ruin on the outcrop is Wanuwana Pata and looked imposing and fortress-like from below.
We circled around this and visited a more urban looking collection of buildings that hugged the contours of the mountain .
From there we had a last little pull to the ruins of Intihuatana, a citadel of temples nestling in a rocky saddle above the terraces. There is a natural spring that the architecture is planned around. The stonework is more refined here and many of the larger stones are still in place.
We sat on a small lookout to the south and ate our sarnies. Soon after we were befriended by a dog with a serious head tilt that Rose suspected was a neurological problem. She commented that in the UK an owner would be straight down the Vets with a problem like that, but here they seem to more often take the view that the dog seems happy enough and they let them get on with life.
The two high paths connecting to Qallaqasa, the main citadel of Pisac, were closed for the rainy season. This meant we would have needed to drop right down into the valley and climb back up again. The weather then rolled in and made the decision for us, we turned for home. There will be enough opportunities on the Inca Trail to see ruins of this nature and it has been great to enjoy them here in Pisac today virtually alone. The valley to the northeast of Pisac had a very alpine, dolomite-like quality to it.
Back down into Pisac in 30 minutes or so, the difference between ascent and descent is almost 3:1 today. As we hit the main road a collectivo was filling up with passengers. We piled in for 5 Soles each and were back in Cusco in half the time it took for the bus to bring us out here.