The area east of Cusco is called the Sacred Valley, because there are many ancient Inca ruins. We had just come back from Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu, on our way back to Cusco, and we almost passed the Sacred Valley but it seemed it would have been stupid, not to look. Although I was a bit tired of all the Inca ruins, which we had already visited, including Machu Picchu, which is of course difficult to beat, However, from the beginning of the travels I had wanted to see the Sacred Valley. So, we ignored our fatigue and the desire to recover at Casa de Mama a little longer and explored this famous area.
First, we visited Ollantaytambo, and after a horrible bus ride, that lasted much longer than it should have, we finally arrived late at night. The bus driver had almost not let us out, because apparently no one had told him, that there were two passengers, who wanted to go to Ollantaytambo and not all the way to Cusco. The town itself was surprisingly pretty. Having already accustomed to the trend towards rather ugly Peruvian cities, Ollantaytambo was the surprise. The Inca ruins were nice, however, I was much more fascinated by the place itself than the old Inca site. We had already seen too many really ruins, and after a while they all start to look the same.
Our hike through the Sacred Valley, however, was still very worthwhile. If not for the Inca ruins, but then, at least for the pretty little villages, and walks through the area to Moray and to the salt mines of Salinas. And then finally Pisac, whose Inca site should prove to be much more impressive and bigger, as suspected.