The Sacred Valley

The Sacred Valley is a valley in the Peruvian Andes close to the Inca capital, Cusco, flush with Inca ruins, gorgeous landscapes, and copious agricultural activity. Over two days, we traveled by van to the markets, ruins, and natural wonders of the region in a state of awe.

From the beginning the Sacred Valley was lush and breathtaking

The Montgomery-Germain crew excited for the stunning sights of the Sacred Valley

Our first stop was a animal rehab centre. This puma was used as a model for novelty photos in a Lima nightclub

Some more cute animals - a deer, a stork, and a lama

Condors are endangered in Peru. The rehab centre had a male, a female, and a baby.

The Andean Condor has a wingspan of 3.2 m, which looks impressive in person. They are scavengers so we felt pretty safe in their cage.

Macaws are often prized pets in Peru. Many are taken from the Amazon and smuggled to cities in PVC pipes. Usually only 10% survive the trip but the smugglers can get up to $6000 per bird.

The sweet doe eyes of a baby alpaca.

Mom and Lex enjoying the mountainous landscape on the back-roads of the Sacred Valley

The sights of the Sacred Valley were a religious experience

We took a lunch stop in Pisaq to enjoy the local market

This is bbq'ed guinea pig, a Peruvian specialty. Five metres away was a sort of doll house compound with live guinea pigs. It made the guinea pig experience a little uncomfortable.

We met some special friends in the Pisaq market

Some cute girls with a baby goat

Leah made some friends in Pisaq.

Gill enjoying a reunion with her mom and pop in beautiful surroundings

We met some interesting characters en route

Gillian and Leah loving the family time

He was too adorable not to hug

We're loving the outfits of the Peruvian ladies

Another donkey was a little wary of Leah's eagerness to pet him

Next stop: Moray, an Incan experimental farm. Each level is a micro-climate where they could test different crops.

In the centre of the experimental farms, Leah and Lex did their best modelling

The Montgomery family walking down the steep Moray steps. This could be a great album cover.

Gill and Leah testing the acoustics in the Moray experimental farms

The impressive Salineras of the Sacred Valley, where a salt spring feeds these pans and dries out to form salt

Families from the surrounding villages get their share of the Salineras. Each family gets 30-40 salt pans to take care of.

A worker harvesting one of his salt pans

And we return to Cusco from a higher point for a "buena vista"