Super Moon in the Sacred Valley

Here’s another excerpt from my year of travel way back when in 2014. This entry explores a magical, moonlit, and slightly illegal night hike in the Sacred Valley in Perú.

July 13th, 2014 – Sacred Valley, Perú

In the morning, we rode over to Chinchero to take a spin around its impressively colorful market. [Quick aside: The markets of Perú are beyond description and probably merit an entire book dedicated just to these meeting points of fares and wares]

img_5471Did someone say textiles?

Chinchero’s market boasted a plethora of multi-sensory delights – alpaca wool and complex textiles, local food vendors fanning the coals of their fires, which in turn dispersed lovely smells of fried local trout and rocoto relleno. Exotic fruit from the not so distant Amazon jungle, salt from the neighboring Maras mines, quinoa, the ubiquitous mangy dogs with their pathetic sunken eyes and fleas, fine Quechua artistry, scarves, hats, and much more.

Colors of Chinchero market

When you visit, take it slow! Chinchero, at ~3,700 meters (12,140 ft) above sea level, can leave you breathless on many fronts.

02_01_Sacred_ValleyMap of the Sacred Valley

Last night was a step above surreal and astounding. To celebrate the super moon, that brilliant orb reflecting the sun’s rays, we snuck into [an Incan temple somewhere in the Sacred Valley].

The whole ancient city was illuminated, and with care it was quite easy to make our way around. We weren’t about to walk through the front gates, so the access was through chacras, past crops and cows and one angry bull. He was not pleased with our presence, gruffly stomping and shaking his head from side to side. A bad sign? The back entrance has bovine guards?!

We continued on, hopping irrigation canals, some being the original Incan canals, water still rushing soothingly past us. Expert architects. Barking dogs echoed below in the town as we ascended. We couldn’t use any artificial light, as this would obviously expose our presence to anyone below.

We climbed over and through timeless walls, the rushing water ever present, helping hypnotize us, propelling us into a kind of silent trance. At one point we sat pensively in a perfectly semi-circular nook, think of a hollowed out egg, with rhombus shapes carved in the rock beneath us. I ran my fingers through these grooves.

Our backs were to a smooth, cool, concave wall. We passed through what seemed like an artisans workshop, with geometric rock figures haphazardly scattered everywhere, still half-finished. The moon, the water, the echoes, the energy, the history, the immenseness, it became hard to remember exactly what year we were in. Was it 2014? 1514? 1414?

I could almost imagine those masters at work, chiseling and chipping and polishing away. Afterwards, we snaked our way through the city and up to the temple, in the distance were the glacier capped Andes, notched perfectly in the back of the valley towards Machu Picchu. Staring all around, mystical clouds snuck up every now and then and covered the moon, just like with the sun everything instantly became darker… they were wispy tenuous clouds with no threat of rain. An inspiring and unforgettable scene, a gateway to cosmic conversations.

img_5509Past or present? Photo credit – P. Lopez

Pd – In retrospect I don’t encourage anyone to do this. We were extra careful to respect our surroundings – not leave any trace of our visit.

One Response to “Super Moon in the Sacred Valley”
  1. paolalopez20 says:

    Gracias ! Dan it’s awesome I wanna travel with you far away ! 😊✌🏻️

    Enviado desde mi iPhone

    > El 19-10-2016, a las 12:15, Destiny Unbound escribió: > > >

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  • We Said Go Travel

    WSGT Travel Writer

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