Cusco + Pisac, Peru – The Unimog, the rescue vehicle

The campground colony disperses. At least it tries, and the occurring difficulties are planned. The owners of the seven vehicles coordinate their departure time with one another, in other words they leave when Arminius leaves, and this is today. There are surprisingly many vehicles on the campground for low season, where there is land under water in the meanwhile. We get the Swiss Landrover out with sand boards and pushing as well as the Austrian motorhome that stands on almost firm ground. It works excellently with our six and two more glass fibre sand boards that we put on repetitively. Those are flat, light, easy to pack away, extremely flexible, indestructible, and they always jump back into their original horizontal shape. Unfortunately this system doesn’t work any more with the campers in the very back in soft mud. We’ll have to winch them out. But at first Arminius has to leave its place and reposition. Will we make our way through the swamp?

We reduce tyre pressure, the Unimog starts moving and nearly hovers over the wet meadow. We pull the two of the others from 50 m distance without completely ploughing up the campground. The manager is relived. The Mercedes bus with 4WD stands in a good position and manages alone with the sand boards. Only one more Landrover remains, but it’s situated on firm ground. Done! Not only the rescue operation, but we are done as well. To unroll the wire cable and coil it up over and over, and repetitively put the boards isn’t chickenfeed in 3,600 m elevation – thanks to our active helpers as well whom we meet for a group photo. After our departure the camp ground closes for the rainy season.

It is already lunchtime when we start our round trip through the Sacred Valley. We first pass the Sacsaywamán and the Q’enqo ruins. We can’t visit any of these finds without a boleto turistico (130 Nuevo soles per person, resp. 70 PEN for a partial boleto) which we think to be a kind of rip-off, but we can see the remaining Inca walls from outside as well (the Spaniards didn’t leave so much). In Yuncaypata village houses are decorated with animal-shaped stucco and ceramics cows on the thatched roofs. Pisac is one of the more interesting Inca sites, admission with boleto turistico only.

We need some relaxation, so we head to Club Royal Inka in Pisac town. This hotel has a huge park with different facilities where camping is allowed for 20 PEN pp. Use of the facilities is included to the price: Olympic-size 50 m indoor pool (closes at 4 p.m.), ponds, and sports / pick-nick / barbecue fields. The swimming pool is a pleasant change although lane swimming in 3,000 m / 10,000 ft is pretty respiration stimulating. Bathrooms and warm outside showers are far away from the campsites, and with a long cable you might get hold of electricity. The facility is a bit down-and-out the Latin-American way and doesn’t live up to its reputation any more but offers better camping than most of the other places in this country. Club Royal Inka, Pisac, S 13°25’21.6’’ W 71°50’29.6’’

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