Creativity can be described as letting go of certainties. — Gail Sheehy, Author
Ollantaytambo is pronounced “O-jan-TAY-tam-bo.” It is a town about 60 km northwest of Cusco in the southern part of Peru. This was the site of the last stand of the Inca resistance against the Spaniards in the 1500s, and the location of this afternoon’s adventure! If you like hiking and exploring like I do, you will LURVE this place! This site is HUGE! It’s been said that if you look at this site from afar you will see that it is shaped like a llama. This theory will be tested tomorrow but today I’m climbing history!
When you enter the ruins you are welcomed with a panoramic view of the entire site. You will see the first set of stairs leading up to the top. On either side of the stairs are varying levels of terraces which, I learned from the Moray ruins, are used to plant different types of crops dependant on the temperature of each terrace.
Continuing on the ground level you will see ruins of other temples.
So off we go to climb this crazy structure! It amazes me that we were on the same steps as Incan royalty. In 1536 Manco Inca, ruler of the Incas in Cusco, defeated the Spaniards at this very fortress. Led by Hernando Pizzaro, the Spanish Conquistadors were showered with arrows, spears and boulders from the tops of the terraces. The Incan onslaught was so great that the Spaniards were unable to climb the stronghold. In a brilliant move, Manco Inca flooded the plain below the fortress through strategically placed channels from the river. With the Spaniards’ horses bogged down in the water, Pizarro ordered a hasty retreat, chased down by thousands of Manco Inca’s victorious warriors.
Though Ollantaytambo was a highly effective fortress, it also served as a temple. A finely worked ceremonial center called the Sun Temple is at the top of the terrace. Some extremely well-built walls were under construction at the time of the conquest and have never been completed. The Incas were able to use carts to move massive blocks six kilometres away across the Río Urubamba. What is amazing is that the Incas carted the blocks to the riverside, then diverted the entire river channel around them, in order to bring them to Ollantaytambo. That’s some crazy ingenuity!
A teammate of mine and I were able to break away from the rest of the group to go exploring on our own. So rules are you are not supposed to climb historical monuments. On the other hand, how am I supposed to score an awesome shot? Follow the rules? F that! 😉
On our way back from the site I stumbled across this convenience store. Never thought I would bump into a famous Springfield landmark 🙂
MOMENT OF ZEN: On my last adventure I built an inukshuk on the banks of the Pacuare River in Costa Rica. I wrote about how some rocks won’t fit into your inukshuk, and thought that was a perfect analogy for adding people into your life. Some people just won’t fit in your life. No matter how much you force them to. There are other times where you won’t fit into other people’s lives. No matter how much you want to be part of their life. And that’s okay too. Not everyone is meant to fit together. So be you and create your own inukshuk as you excavate new experiences in life. Let go of the certainties of the “should be’s” and embrace the uncertainties of the “what could be’s.” Because the right rocks that fit, tend to stay. 🙂
Peace, love and adventure!