Much has been written about hiking the ruins of Peru’s Sacred Valley. But my perspective may be a bit different. This is the perspective of a middle-aged woman who hasn’t really exercised in nearly a year, who is about 100 lbs overweight, has a stupid autoimmune disease, has hot flashes whenever it’s inconvenient, and who doesn’t like to go up in order to go down.
While planning my somewhat last minute trip to Peru I was really torn about whether to visit the Cusco region because I knew I wouldn’t have time to trek Machu Picchu - and who goes to the Sacred Valley and doesn’t hike the big MP? I spoke to enough people who convinced me it was ok not to do it this time (thanks, friends), and was also advised that in Pisac there were ruins just as old and significant as Machu Picchu, if not quite on the same scale.
So off I went. I almost missed 3 of my flights because I had to take my bags from baggage claim, leave the terminal, go back inside to check in again, then go through security again. FOR EVERY. SINGLE. STUPID. FLIGHT. So by the time I got to Pisac, about 17 hours later, I was completely wiped out.
The altitude here is no joke and it’s part of the reason I came to Pisac for my first few days rather than stay in Cusco (which is where I landed). Cusco is about 500 meters higher and I wanted some time to acclimate. To combat the onset of altitude sickness my hosts recommended coca tea…yes, the kind that comes from the coca tree…yes the leaf they make cocaine from. No, it didn’t jack me up, in fact I napped very soundly after each cup of tea.