From Cuzco to Awana Kancha to Urubamba and back

Friday I left the beautiful city of Cuzco to head to the town of Urubamba in the heart of the Valle Sagrada (Sacred Valley). On the way there we stopped by Awana Kancha, (The Palace of the Weaver), a live museum where a group of Andean people have come together to preserve the culture of weaving and textiles of the Peruvian Indigenas.

In this museum they raise the Alpaca and Llamas and shear them for garments such as hats, poncho’s, sweaters, etc. 

They weave the wool into colorful patterns right in front of you.  We also saw how they still to this day create the dyes for the fabric with different vegetables and herbs.

Then we got to feed these adorable animals! There were tons of them walking up and down the hills behind the museum.

After Awana Kancha we jumped back into the car and headed to Urubamba.  This was the front of the adorable house we were going to stay in…

And this was the inside. There was a huge garden full of all sorts of flowers and fruit trees.  And a small, very rustic looking kitchen and dining room set outside.

While we all got settled in we took a moment to have a drink and enjoy this little paradise.

And then we ate and ate and ate!

A well known characteristic of Urubamba is the street market. I have never seen so many vegetables, fruits, meats and toys in one spot.  There were so many people doing their grocery shopping while kids ran around, hiding under the food crates or playing with the dogs and cats that lurked about.

As I walked around and tried to take it all in I couldn’t help but find myself deeply drawn to photographing the people.  There were people who seemed to love talking about their produce and others that just seemed to be going through the motions, daydreaming.

The quietest woman would light up when you asked her about the zucchini’s she was selling or the rich flavor of the fruits she had with her. The word “rico!” could be heard from every corner.

But whether they were daydreaming, talking or even sleeping there was a strong sense of community that permeated the market and a sense of appreciation for what they had.

(I couldn’t help but photograph these little girls playing tag while covering their eyes with lettuce.)

And so my trip to Urubamba was starting to come to a close. From the moment we arrived this little girl made sure to watch us unload the car and now watched us pack it back up.

And we headed back to Cuzco.

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