¬°Hola, todos! I’m writing to you from Ollantaytambo, in the heart of the Sacred Valley (Valle Sagrado) high in the Peruvian Andes. It’s beautiful here. I love it. Monday morning, we leave for our week-long trek to Machu Picchu. During this time, I’ll have no internet connection (though I’ve pre-written a couple of posts to tide you over). It has been over fifteen years since I went a week without the internet. Will I be able to survive?

Before I leave, I want to share a handful of photos from the past few days. I don’t have time to write much, so the photos will have to stand on their own. (All of these photos are posted to Flickr — click through to see larger versions.)

Note: First, I want to point to this piece from NPR’s Marketplace about the wide world of financial blogging. I know that Far Away Places isn’t my money blog, but Tess Vigeland’s story covers the conference I attended in Chicago at the start of this trip. Chicago is a far away place, right?

Incan terraces at Chinchero, Peru
Me (carrying my Peru 2011 journal) overlooking the Incan terraces in Chinchero, Peru

Weaving demonstration in Chinchero, Peru
Our guide, Pepe Lucho, helps with a weaving demonstration in the town of Chinchero

Las Salineras de Maras
A salt farmer in Las Salineras de Maras

Ollantaytambo, Peru
Ollantaytambo y el Valle Sagrado

Overlooking Ollantaytambo
Me on an early morning scramble up the hillside overlooking Ollantaytambo

Ollantaytambo photographers
Photographers (Brad, Anita, Peter) in the ruins above Ollantaytambo

Verduras at an Ollantaytambo mercado
Muchas verduras frescas en el mercado de Ollantaytambo

Cuy -- Guinea pigs being fattened for eating in Ollantaytambo
Cuy (aka guinea pigs) being fattened for future fine dining

Ollantaytambo river hike
Grace and Luke pausing on our hike along the Urubamba River (aka Vilcanota River)

Quechua woman outside Ollantaytambo
An old Quechua woman with her cat and dog, north of Ollantaytambo

Relaxing at the train station in Ollantaytambo
Our group relaxing in the courtyard at the Ollantaytambo train station

Rae and an enormous moth
Rae and an enormous moth outside a restaurant in Ollantaytambo

I’m sure I’ll have tons of photos and stories to share over the next few weeks, but I’m about to go off-grid. For more photos from our group, check out Laura’s photos on Flickr. And look for a couple of new posts later this week!

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