Well a shorter blog post today. We were able to goto a local farm lunch in town and then visit the Ollantaymbo ruins for another look and large rocks that have been moved by men. The farm lunch at Albergue Lodge was prety great. We got a walk around tour of the farm – which is connected to a hotel/restaurant. This farm produces much of their own produce for use in the restaurant, and we were able to sample fresh veggies as we walked around. There is nothing better than fresh off the farm.
The bbq situation was pretty interesting. They had been heating rocks “special rocks, not rocks from the river” for about 1.5 hours. They then take out all the wood, ash, charcoal from the pit and are left with just rocks. They only use the rocks twice, then need to get new rocks, as the rocks crack apart during the process. So next in the process? They take the meat that has been smothered in herbs and put it diretly on the rock to cook. At first I was questioning this, but I figured the rocks had been super heated by the fire, so probably nothing bad was living on em.
After placing the meat on the rocks, they then place some more rocks on top, add some potatoes, more rocks, then a huge heap of fresh spices. Finally? they cover the entire thing with wet fabric and then bury it in dirt. For our meal we had chicken and pork ribs. Cooking time? 15 minutes. The guide/chef said that it’s like a huge convection oven in the ground and the meat cooks very quickly. I’m thinking I hope it get it to 180F…
The result? amazing meal and food. It’s a very fancy way to cook meat and leave the moisture inside. I couldn’t believe how good the meal turned out to be. Combined with the potatoes and beans made in the oven as well it was pretty special.
After lunch we walked up the hill and received a great personalized tour from a local guide. This place was a military protection area for the valley and Machu Picchu. It was also a religious area and farming center. About 1,500 people lied here. They used the mountain top as a guide to indicate when the season was. In the winter solstace (June 21st – yes I know our summer one) the sun lines up directly in between two rocks on the top of the mountain. Each season the sun sets at a differnt spot on the mountain, and that is how they would know when to plant or harvest. Again there is more brilliant rock work for the temple, terraces that they grew flowers on and unbelievable water engineering.