Choquequirao, Sayhuite, and back to Abancay.

We woke up the next morning to a garden of Eden paradise. We could not see her property full of flowers, birds, and a fantastic landscape because we arrived at night. We went to the main building for breakfast, which was served by Patrina and was delicious. After breakfast, we met up with our driver and headed up into the mountains to see Choquequirao. We arrived at a small mountain village of Kiuñalla where the locals were having a celebration. We met a couple who were pretty much gypsies and just raining the earth with what was on there back. After talking and meeting the local community, we combined hiking to the Choquequirao overlook.

Choquequirao is an Incan site in south Peru, similar in structure and architecture to Machu Picchu. The ruins are buildings and terraces at levels above and below Sunch’u Pata, the truncated hilltop. The hilltop was anciently leveled and ringed with stones to create a 30 by 50 m platform.

Choquequirao at an elevation of 3,050 metres (10,010 ft) is in the spurs of the Vilcabamba mountain range in the Santa Teresa district,  La Convención Province of the Cusco Region. The site overlooks the Apurimac River canyon which has an elevation of (4,760 ft).

After spending the day enjoying the beautiful views, we headed back to Los Loros to hike a small section of trail to Apurimac River. Our host Patrina has graciously packed a lunch for our hike, and we headed out. The trail was marked well, and we encountered much wildlife, and unfortunately, a dense group of mosquito’s decided to make me their main course. After hiking longer, we came across beautiful waterfalls and decided to turn around and head back to the lodge after hiking for a few hours. On the way back, we stopped and had our lunch, which included Granadilla, one of Shirley’s favorite fruits. I would affectionately call it booger fruit because of the appearance. We hiked awhile long until we reached the river and decided to turn around and head back to Los Loros, where Petrina had an amazing dinner prepared for us. That evening we enjoyed the property and conversation with Petrina. The next day our driver picked us up, and we drove back to Abancay. On the way back to Abancay, we stopped at Sayhuite, an ancient Inca archeological site.

Sayhuite (Sigh-weetey) is an archaeological site 47 kilometres (29 mi) east of the city Abancay, about 3 hours away from the city of Cusco, in the province Abancay in the region Apurímac in Peru.[1] The site is regarded as a center of religious worship for Inca people, focusing on water.[2] In the Monuments of the Inca by John Hemming, Hemming points to a colonial narrative that describes the Sayhuite temple’s interior. The temple featured more massive columns draped in fabrics with gold bands the “thickness of one’s hand.” The temple was also under the care of the priestess Asarpay, who jumped to her death in the nearby 400-meter gorge to avoid capture by Spanish forces.[3]

An essential feature on the site is the Sayhuite monolith, an enormous rock containing more than 200 geometric and zoomorphic figures, including reptiles, frogs, and felines. Found at the top of a hill named Concacha, the stone was sculpted as a topographical hydraulic model, complete with terraces, ponds, rivers, tunnels, and irrigation channels.[4] The functions or purposes of the stone are not known. Still, researcher Dr. Arlan Andrews, Sr. believes the monolith was used as a scale model to design, develop, test, document the water flow for public water projects, and teach ancient engineers and technicians the concepts and practices required.[5] The rock was “edited” several times, with new material, either altering the water paths or adding routes altogether.[6] The monolith is the most popular attraction on the archeological site, about two meters long and four meters wide.

After spending about an hour exploring sayhuite we returned to our driver and continued through the jagged mountain of the Apurimac region of Peru. After about another hour, we reached Abancay and were dripped off at Omar and Ezas house. They greeted us with big smiles, excited to hear about our adventure, and offered us something to eat. After eating and telling them about our experience, we took a nap. That evening we went out with Omar and Iza. The next day, Omar had planned to take us to the Apurimac River and the mountains in Abancay for a hike plus visit Espinoza Liquor distillery and local entertainment.

We woke up the next morning and went to get a car at Shirlys aunts. It was a great day, and the drive and views of Abancay from the mountains were breathtaking, as were the sheer drop-offs. We then went to visit Shirley’s family’s Sugar Cane Liquor Distillery. Her family was very welcoming and so happy to see us. We celebrated with many drinks and shots of Espinoza liquor, which is made from sugar cane. The hospitality and kindness were heartwarming, and I immediately felt like family. After visiting a while longer, we went out to enjoy some local food and entertainment before returning to Omar and Izas. We had a lot of fun that night dancing and enjoying the company of Omar and Izas friends. The next morning we would sadly be leaving.

The next morning we woke up, and Omar had arranged our transportation, and Eza had made us breakfast. We said our goodbyes with heavy hearts and departed for Cusco but on the way stopped at a natural spring for a refreshing swim in Hunock. It was a hot day, and the natural cold mountain spring water was refreshing. It was crowded with mostly locals, and it was fun seeing the families enjoy the pools. After about an hour, we met back up with our driver and continued the Cusco scenic drive. Upon Arriving in Cusco, we decided to try the pizza place, Carpe Diem, that Petrina from Los Loros had told us about, which was delicious. We shared dessert and headed back to the hotel for some much-needed rest.

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