The morning after our visit to Machu Picchu, the kids thankfully slept in a little and following a delicious homemade breakfast at the hotel (possibly the only redeeming feature of the hotel), we all set out to explore the town of Ollantaytambo.

We walked a few blocks to the town square.

We bought baseball hats for Danny and Patrick and our friends tried on colorful knit hats.

We walked past the town’s busy three-way intersection, controlled not by a stop sign or stoplight, but rather by a guy in a booth holding what the kids believed to be a light saber.

We followed the town’s narrow streets until we found the entrance path to the Pinkuylluna ruins, right in the town.

It was pretty steep so we didn’t go too far, especially after fellow hikers told us the terrain got worse higher up.  (The top left picture below are the runs we didn’t make it to that morning.  The top right picture are the ruins we would visit after lunch.)

The kids had fun showing off their new hats and climbing on the rocks.

There were nice views, though Kev slept through much of it.

We walked back to the town square and saw a few women in traditional Peruvian clothes.

We visited a market, seeing lots of fresh fruit for sale and signs for “cuy frito” or fried Guinea pig.

For lunch the adults sampled two typical Peruvian dishes – “aji de gallina” (spicy creamed chicken served with rice, potatoes, a hard boiled egg and a black olive) and “lomo saltado” (a stir fry of beef with onions and peppers, also served with rice and potatoes). 

For dessert we walked across the street for ice cream at the Kwik-E-Mart, named after the convenience store on “The Simpsons” and even featuring a photo of Apu, proprietor of the store on the show.

Kevin tried but didn’t love my strawberry yogurt popsicle.  All the other kids sure loved their popsicles!

Next we walked to the ruins of Ollantaytambo, built on the side of a steep hill and featuring lots of stairs.

The kids even found an ideal spot for ritual human sacrifice.

We decided to turn back when a sign warned of particularly treacherous path ahead.  Rather than walk a narrow ledge with no rails and a steep drop off, we walked down many flights of stairs to explore the ruins down below.

Kev was a little sad waking up from his nap.

The water delivery system at the site, still-functioning in some places, was particularly  impressive.

We visited the market outside of the ruins.

We had a fun dinner later that night and although my beef was great (I think the chef signed my plate?), my new favorite food might be quinoa soup.

Next up: heading to Cusco!

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