PHOTOGRAPHER'S JOURNAL: Our first day in the Sacred Valley took us from Cuzco to Ollantaytambo where the road through the Sacred Valley of the Inca's ends. When we arrived our guide, Ramiro, led us directly up to a spot in the Inca ruins, above the town. He knew that as we got higher we would feel the wind that is funneled through the valley where the canyons narrow and intersect. On the valley wall opposite and across town but not shown in this image are the large granaries where the Inca's stored their grain so that the wind could dry and preserve it safely where it might be needed. Around us where we stood were the ruins where the Inca's, for a brief moment, turned back the Conquistadors.
My guide book tells me that in Ollantaytambo the townspeople carry on traditions from Inca times. I would have liked a few hours at least to linger here. But for a few snapshots, the town and its people remain a mystery to me, but as we arrived the sun was already falling behind the steep-sided walls that funnel the winds, and more time here would have meant missing something elsewhere.
Travel photography is a rushed affair, and one is never at the right place when the light is right, but here in Ollantaytambo at least, the sun helped me tell the story of the valley winds.
To see more of day one in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, here is a slide show. It includes photos taken along the road, more photos of Ollantaytambo including the granaries, and photographs of a "camel farm" where they raise alpaca, llama, guanacos, and vicuñas and process, spin and weave the wool.