Peru Day 5 – Cusco

Woo boy, catching up is fun.

So while sleeping the bus to Cusco you find yourself slowly ascending through the mountains.  Its only 600km but it takes 14 hours!  Anyways at 2am I woke up feeling sick and realized it had been 6 hours since my Dramamine and it was wearing off – I took another 2 and went to bed.

When we finally arrived at Cusco around 11am we were now at an altitude of 10,500 feet. FYI the other movies on the bus was Toy Story and We Are Marshall (both in Spanish).  I’m assuming you could never see We Are Marshall on a plane and someone on this bus line likes Mathew McConnehey.

While I got the luggage Tim negotiated a ride to a hotel 5 blocks from the main square for $30/night and they brought us Coca tea to help with any elevation sickness.  We didn’t drink the tea.

We went to the Plaza de Arnas and saw some wonderful architecture – La Cathedral and Compania de Jesus and I can understand why Tim get upset when they want admission to visit a church he is always inquiring about going to mass but he hasn’t made one yet. The room is nice but alas no pool like in Nazca.

We went to the Museo de Inca which was a former palace of the Spanish Governor and it was really well done some very advanced ways of showing pots and lighting etc.  I think we are getting museum-ed out though by now we know what we are looking at.

There were weavers in the courtyard and I am reminded of a weaver I met a few days earlier who showed me his wares.  I didn’t like what he had but I asked if he had anything like he was working on and he told me to come back tomorrow.  Some lady with a Alpaca sweater that almost fit said if I saw her tomorrow she would have one bigger.  The sweaters are like $15-$20 each.

Everyone is walking up and down the street trying to sell you crap.  The finger puppets are my favorite.  People in traditional grab want to pose for you for money.  I tried giving for little girls .20 soles each but they held out for 1 soles coins (about 30 cents).  I also took a photo of two ladies and an alpaca.

We wanted to find a decent lunch and some barker was moving us from place to place until she showed us some little hole in the wall that had soup, meal, and soda for 15 soles (it is 2.75 soles per dollar).
I can corn soup and steak and it came with fried and rice and bread.  We were stuffed.

We heard that there was a tourist ticket that you could buy and Tim found the place it was 70 soles, it was half for students but she checked my passport and said I was too old!  The ticket is good at some museums and a lot of archeological sites.

Our next stop was the small but nice Museo de Arte Popular and we walked around the square some more.  You couldn’t tell that yesterday the place was fully decorated for Corpus Christi (we missed it).

All of the sudden Tim gets the energy to visit another ruin even though its near sunset. He hails a taxi who wants 10 but the next guy says he will take 3 (until we got there and then insisted on 10 even called the police – I gave him another 3 and he shut up and left).

The ruin of Sacsayhauman is an amazing Incan fortress of perfectly aligned stones.  We walked around it until the sun was down and it was completely dark – a valley surrounded by the stars and the city lights.  I told Tim we have to get to these places earlier so I can shoot – he likes the night ambiance which is fine but we need another 30 min or so.

We went back to the square and I left Tim at the church to drop off my stuff at the hotel but got lost.  When I finally got back Tim headed back to the hotel.  There is a massotherapy place across from the hotel and I just had a very nice 1 hour massage for $20.

So the place for tomorrow is to get up and visit Pisac which is a huge ruin about 20 miles away and then hit the Tambomachay trail which is 4 other ruins. (these are all on our tourist ticket)

Depending on when we get back we may see some other museums.  We will spend the night here and then head to Olloysomething or another which has another ruin in town and one we want to see out of it.

From there we must train to Aqua Caliete – the nearest town to Machu Pichu where we should spend another 2 days.  Tim made it clear that if I wanted to see sunrise of the valley then I would be on my own that morning 🙂

All is well missing everyone

PS The University is probably shutting down this blog server as they are having a power outage next weekend –  I will try and host elsewhere and post in the entry.

PS I’m up to 26 rolls of film.

[Re-posted from my University Blog & Edited 07/01/2011]