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"Just be who you are, calm and clear and bright." - Richard Bach, Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah

Adventures in Peru: Cusco

There are always local ladies available for a photo op. I guess Kate took this one at a distance so she wouldn’t have to pay up.

Once we all met up in Lima it was time for the touristy bit, so we flew to Cusco and met our new guide, Edison, at the airport. We were booked into the loveliest guesthouse: there was a gorgeous courtyard full of flowers (not to mention the swing) and a terrific view of the city from the balcony outside our rooms. We stayed in the old section of the city, all windy cobblestoned streets and quaint churches and whatnot–even the touristy streets weren’t as annoying as we were expecting. I wish we could have stayed in Cusco longer than one night.

‘It’s Jesus on a swing!’

We had coca tea (alleviates symptoms of altitude sickness) at the guesthouse before going on a little walk through town to the Church of Santo Domingo, which was built on the Incan Temple of the Sun (‘Coricancha‘). Incan stonework juxtaposed with all the usual Catholic art and pomp.

One of my very favorite pictures from this trip.

The afternoon was a whirlwind of four Inca sites–Sacsayhuaman (a fortress with zig-zagging walls made of mind-blowingly huge stones), Q’enko (a religious site where animals were sacrificed to predict the harvest), Pukapukara (mostly a residential complex, if I remember correctly), and Tambomachay (another religious site featuring fountains from cold springs–I didn’t appreciate this one as much because it was the end of the day and the site was really crowded).

A couple of shots at Sacsayhuaman (I giggled for ages at this, and then I realized that EVERYONE laughs at it, and felt stupid):

Spencer looking epic. (Not posed.)

On the hill between Sacsayhuaman and Q’enko was a park with a big ol’ statue of Jesus, where lots of people were out flying kites. (It was a Sunday afternoon. How do I remember this? I was sad because I couldn’t visit the yarn store Mary Jane had suggested!)

Q’enko. There’s a slab in this cave where bodies would have been laid out.

Pukapukara. Glorious panoramic view from the top.

I forgot to mention a funny story from way back at Sechin. Kate had gotten one of those nifty platypus water bags that go in a backpack and have a long straw with a thingy you gently bite down on to release the water, and when she laid it on the floor outside the restroom at the museum a hairless dog came up and licked it. She could have tried to disinfect it, but decided to ask Elliot to bring her a new mouthpiece. We told Spencer what happened (‘The hairless dog was sucking my nip!’), and he goes, ‘I got my rabies shot, girl! I’m bulletproof!’ (Which is something you should not say unless you are trying to jinx yourself.)

Next post: Pisac, the Salt Mines, and Ollantaytambo.

1 Comment to Adventures in Peru: Cusco

  1. Kate's Gravatar Kate
    October 14, 2010 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    It was a shame that there were so many tourists because it did taint the experience. It’s funny how certain sites become the ones that everyone goes to even though there are loads of others that are just as cool.

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Hi! I'm Camille. I only write stories that could never ever happen in real life, though I do believe in real-life magic. If we were in the same room I'd fix you a cup of tea, but for now we'll have to settle for a virtual connection. I'm really glad you're here.