We got a later start today because it’s Election Day, and some of the tour guides and drivers had to vote or they would be fined. We headed off for Awana Kancha, an arts center on the way to Pisac. Awana Kancha is an organization of 420 families in 14 communities that are devoted to preserving the traditional textile culture of the Andes.
Camelids of every variety were on hand to feed and we marveled at their oddly cute faces and bodies.
This luscious fiber is on the shanks of a Suri Alpaca.
Awana Kancha has displays of natural dying, including several different substances to add to cochineal to get varieties of reds and oranges. That’s alpaca fuel she’s using to heat the dye baths.
Several backstrap weavers sat weaving in the area, and a tapestry loom stood in a corner with a piece in progress being woven back side up.
It’s good to see so many families supported by and supporting traditional arts and crafts. It’s extremely hard to hold the line when cheap, synthetic dyes are everywhere and cutting corners is so much faster.
After lunch we rode high up in the mountains above Pisac to an archaeological site that served as a defense post for the Inkas. You can see them behind our guide Fidel.
He led a group on a longer hike while I and some others went on a shorter hike up to the area where the soldiers were quartered. The shadow below is some bit of proof that I climbed up near the top.
Most amazing were the terraces that the Inkas built on the steep sides of the rocky cliffs…
And the lichen on the stone walls built without mortar.
Tomorrow we will visit Ollantaytambo on the way to Machu Picchu.