After the worst breakfast so far we headed down to Av Grau to catch a collectivo to Ollantaytambo. We got one straight away, waited for it to fill up and off we went. It really is dead easy and there is no need to get a private hire. Also, the trip only costs 10 soles per person. The transit van was relatively new and our bags were strapped onto the roof securely. We arrived in Ollantaytambo after a two hour drive at around 12pm and walked up to our hostel Mama Simona.
The hostel is right next to a stream and in a beautiful location. It has a great clean kitchen and communal area. The room is spacious and has a good sized bathroom as well. After locking up our bags we went back into the centre of Ollantaytambo and started looking for a place for lunch. There are a few restaurants around the main square all serving similar dishes and pizza (literally everywhere you go has pizzas). Just a two minute walk away from the main square towards the market is a small, local restaurant that “only” serves Peruvian dishes and a lunch menu.
The Trucha Frito and Lomo Saltado only cost 27 soles together and Chicha Morada is free for everyone. The portions are huge and the food really delicious.
After lunch we walked the short distance to the Ollantaytambo ruins and market. The entrance fee for the ruins is 70 soles. We didn’t really fancy paying that so went back across to the other side of town to the Pinkulluna ruins which are free to visit. You also get a great view over the valley and towards the Ollantaytambo ruins. The climb is quite steep and there a few sheer drops. From the bottom of the hill you can reach the ruins in around 15 minutes. The path splits after around 5 minutes and there are ruins on either side.
Back on the square we discovered a little cafe that has beers from the Sacred Valley brewery on draught (16 soles). They’ve got an IPA, coffee stout and maracuja saison flavoured lager. Needless to say we tried them all – the coffee one probably being our favourite.
Before going back to Mama Simona, we made a pit stop at Ganso – a really cool psychedelic bar that the Flaming Lips would probably feel at home at. They even have a fireman’s pole you can slide down at the end of your drinking sesssion.
Tomorrow is the big day; we’re off to Machu Picchu!