Posted by: travelrat | March 13, 2018


Ollantaytambo 1

Ollantaytambo: 18th February 2017

Ollantaytambo! Isn’t that a lovely word? One you can sort of roll around and savour, like a good wine. It’s where we boarded the train for Machu Picchu the previous day, but there’s much more to it than that. It’s one of the oldest settlements in Peru; the clue is in the ‘-tambo’ bit. A ‘tambo’ was an inn or hostelry used by travellers on the old Inca roads.

Away from the centre, and the railway station, narrow streets … some with little open channels, which are part of the water supply, running along them, lead through houses of the more traditional kind, through which we were taken to an Inca dwelling … I’m not sure whether it was a reconstruction, or people still live like this.

All over the floor were little fluffy balls, reminiscent of the ‘Tribbles’ in Star Trek. They were cuyos, or guinea pigs, and they weren’t pets … they were food. Everywhere we went, people would wave cooked cuyos on skewers at us. I’ve eaten crocodile, kangaroo and alpaca … but at guinea pigs, I draw the line.

On the way out of Ollanta (some people say it that way, rather like that Welsh village is usually called Llanfair P.G.) our way was blocked by some kind of carnival procession.  The guide didn’t know what it was about, so it must have been a purely local thing. But, I did get a couple of nice, colourful pictures,



  1. As you say, lovely colourful pictures and well worth a place in your album and in your posts. What a lovely word that is, to roll áround the tounge.

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