I got on the bus around 8:30 am and the drive from Cusco to Patabamba took about 1 1/2 hours. We went through beautiful Pisac and simply the drive from Cusco to Patabamba was really amazing I took many nice pictures and videos of the Sacred Valley. We were a small group of 5 people,including me,which was nice.The other travellers were from El Salvador and we had a lot of fun together. After we left the city of Cusco, we saw planted crops in the fields, such as potatoes, corn and Andean cereal like kiwicha, Quinua and Cañihua.

When we reached our destination in Patabamba we received a warm and friendly Andean welcome.The locals played music for us on a flute and the ladies sprinkled flowers on our head and hugged us, which was really sweet and kind.

This community is known for their dedication to the preservation of the iconographies of Andean textiles. The ladies brought us some of their traditional dresses to wear. All the dresses are handmade and very beautiful. After we put on the traditional dresses and took some pictures we walked for about 20 minutes until we reached a 800 meter cliff from where we had the most beautiful view of the Sacred Valley. It was really amazing what an amazing view we had from that spot we took a lot of great pictures in our nice dresses and our guide Rouven gave us some information about the area. We stayed there for a while and enjoyed the great view, I also played with some grazing horses.

On our way back to the house we picked up different flowers and plants to dye our t-shirt later. When we reached the house we started preparing the Pachamanca.

Pachamanca (from Quechua pacha “earth”, manka “pot”) is a traditional Peruvian dish based on the baking, with the aid of hot stones (the earthen oven is known as a huatia), of lamb, mutton, pork, chicken or guinea pig, marinated in spices. Also other Andean products are used for the preparation, such as potato, green lima beans or “habas”, sweet potatos, occasionally cassava or yuca, and humitas (sweet treat) as well as ears of corn, tamale and chili.

It was a lot of fun to see how well-rehearsed the locals are in preparing this delicious dish. We were allowed to help and we enjoyed it a lot. After we put all the incredients in and covered it with stones, plastic and mud Josue put a cross handmade out of flowers on top to bless the food. Now we had to wait for about 30 minutes till the food was ready.

In that time the locals teached us about their dyeing techniques, which was super interesting and nice to watch. Then it was our turn, we got our T-shirts provided by JOEX, chose our color and dyed our own T-shirts.

Once we were done we hung them up to dry and our lunch was ready thankfully we all were really hungry. Together with the locals we took the food out of the fire and sat down in a nice room were we had our lunch. During lunch we had really nice talks about our travels and what we do for a living. It was a really nice atmosphere and group I enjoyed it a lot. After we finished lunch one of the ladies brought us hot water and freshly picked chamomile and mint. We had tea, that was really delicious, because it was so fresh. I love tea in general but that one was just great!

When we came back out the locals put out their handmade souvenirs for us, I bought some bracelets for me and my friends. The others bouth bags and other souvenirs.

We said good-bye, thanked them for their hospitality and got on our bus to travel back to Cusco. We reached Cusco at around 4:30 pm.

It was a really nice and special experience for me I enjoyed it a lot. Going to rural communities I think shows you the real peruvian lifestyle away from the touristy places.

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