Dayhike above the sacred valley
Patabamba / HUCHUY QOSQO / Lamay
|A small trip into todays world of the campesinos communities and the ancient remains of the Inka. Backpacker who float only in the waves of the masses may easily miss to get a glimpse on this real Peru, Dalya guided me for this day - gracias. Without her I wouldn't have seen this, wouldn't have learned what I learned.
A combination of bus ride and taxi ride brings us to the indigenous community of Patabamba. 800 inhabitants live in this village, it is the border to a different world. The paved road ends here, beyond this place the caminos are only accessible for pedestrians and their animals. The role of the campesinos, the official naming for perus indigenous inhabitants, in perus society today is still a difficult one. Centuries of depression formed a deep gap in society that is still strong today, even if the situation in terms of official rights improves.
Patabamba is a place where the campesinos follow the paths of their ancestors live. People live from agriculture and their live is organized in the community. The houses are build in traditional adobe construction. But times haven't passed bye completely here without leaving traces, all houses have fresh water supplies and electricity, also toilets are common. A school is available for the children. Even a hostel for tourists is now there. So to some certain level the situation improved for the people.
At first glance this place appears romantic, thanks to my guide I learned also about the things that are not obvious to the surface. Alcohol is a problem and also there are quite some environmental challenges, e.g. with the introduced eucalyptus plants. These trees grow fast but however exploit the soil, so in the long run it is not sustainable to grow these trees. On the other hand it is actually nice to have a pharmacy on the roadside. Dalya picks some leaves to use them for a relaxing bath in the night.
|The walk follows a range of hills that separate Cusco from the sacred valley. The scenery here has an own flair and the many impressive views on the sacred valley makes this hike so nice. We pass bye several communites, people follow their daily duties. It is good to see that there quite some work on the infra structure is done, schools and roads are being built.
After a while a canyon leads us down to a terrace above the sacred valley. We enter the archaeological site of HUCHUY QOSQO, meaning as much as little Cusco. At an altitude of 3500m the inca king viracocha had his seat here. Quite some of the building substance remained until today, also a museum restored the huts and fields the way it is guessed how people used to live.
We follow a steep path down the sacred valley to the village of Lamay, the access point to the site. A descent of 600m altitude is to be done, this explains the only few people we meet at the site. In Lamay hop on a public bus to return to Cusco again.