The train ride into the Sacred Valley was absolutely stunning but I’m afraid we didn’t enjoy it as much as we should have because we were so grateful to have made the train that we nearly passed out from exhaustion upon boarding.
The train drops you off in the middle of a market full of local people selling their jewelery and textiles but once you run the gauntlet of vendors, the streets become full of hotels, hostels and restaurants. The main square attracted kids and tourists alike.
(children playing at the feet of Pachacutec)
After a quick trip to the thermal pools for a soak, we showered and headed down Avenida Pachacutec to find some dinner. Most of the eateries have employees approach you in the street with their menus and haggle to get you to eat there. Considering that we found that many of the places had almost exactly the same menu, in the end we choose a place that bugged us the least, a great people watching location, Pizzeria Palomino (I think), that included a very frothy lemonada for Eric.
During our meal we were passed by a huge gaggle of school children dressed from head to toe in green and a group of giggling girls playing hide and seek who accidentally unplugged our lantern while hiding from their friend. I also made the mistake of acknowledging a dog who came to our table and my friendliness was misinterpreted as an offer to share my alpaca with pepper sauce. Eventually the owner came out and scolded her away which resulted in a few frustrated ‘woofs’.
A few sidebars: the wonderful organic / inorganic garbage bins all over town and this bit of questionable copyright infringement.