This morning we began our journey to Willoc community. On our way we made many detours to sight see the Andean country side. Our first stop was at an Alpaca/llama farm. Odon, our guide, taught us that both of these animals are descendents of camels. We also learned how the wool was dyed and watched women weave them into beautiful textiles.
We then traveled to the Pisaq market, which is located around 30 minutes from Cusco. The group had the opportunity to explore the market and barter with local venders. It’s amazing how many “special offers” by the venders that were to hard to resist. It was impressive to see all of their art and textiles on display in the market.
We had a delicious lunch at a restaurant carved into the Andean mountain side. There were wall to wall windows that showcased the breath taking views of t sacred valley. The food was also as incredible as the views. There was a wide assortment of Peruvian food that hit the spot.
The group made a brief stop at the Kausay Wasi Health Clinic to drop off medical supplies and toured the clinic. The clinic has has served over 320,000 patients in the Sacred Valley that otherwise wouldn’t have access to healthcare. No patient is ever turned away due an inability to pay. The clinic is funded entirely by private donations and volunteer work from medical providers from all over the world.
After a much needed siesta in the bus, we completed our last stop of the day at a salt mine in the valley. The mine is a result of the sea water that once occupied the Andeas millions of years ago. It stays true to the Andean culture and refrains from using machines to harvest the salt. The salt beds that are owned by individual families are beutifully craved into the Andean mountain side. The remainder of our trip to Ollataytombo was filled with scenic portraits of the Andeas towering over us on either side of the valley. We are extremely excited to set up the clinic tomorrow and ecplore the Willoc community.
Ryan and Michelle