Author: Lily Location: Ollantaytambo After two days of working hard on the greenhouse, we finally got to explore more of Ollantaytambo. Today we set out on a day-long hike up and down the mountains to a quarry. The hike was easy at first and gradually got steeper and steeper. We stopped for many water breaks along the way, while also taking in the picture-perfect views of the scenery around us. It looked like we were looking at a postcard. The tallest mountains had snow caps and were partially covered by clouds. Below us the river intertwined along the bottom of the mountains and animals were grazing in the valley. The weather couldn’t be any more perfect; the sun beat down on us but the cool breeze eased the heat. On the way up the mountain a little girl about 7 years old passed our group. I watched her in awe as she hiked up the mountain without stopping; she did it so effortlessly and she was carrying things. After 4 hours of trudging and panting up the mountain we got to a meadow-ish area where we stopped for lunch and a siesta. I found a nice rock to lay out on and it felt so nice and peaceful. We hiked a little bit further to get to the quarry, Ronald (our wonderful tour guide!) told us that this was where the Inca came to get the boulders they used to build their sites. We also got a chance to see the remains of mummies that were buried in to the mountain at the quarry. After that we began our hike down the mountain. I think going down was much harder than going up, people kept sliding and the height looking down was intimidating. However, on the way down we got to see condors and a rainbow! Everyone was excited to see the bus at the end of the hike and when we got back to the hotel we had some down time. For dinner we had pizza and pasta but it took forever for the food to come out. To wrap up the night we had our nightly meeting with a twist. The lights went out and everyone started singing Happy Birthday to me. The staff put a cake in front of me and a really nice card that everyone signed. All in all the hike was rough but the views were worth it and getting to celebrate my birthday with all my new friends made for a birthday I will never forget!