Peru Day 6 – Cusco (ish)
First I have to tell you as I went to use the computer in the hotel I needed to log on. The administrator password is 123456. Nice…
When we got up today we had breakfast and the first person we see is Mario the agent who got us this hotel trying to manage the rest of our trip. Before we left the room Tim and I made a list of exactly where we wanted to go and showed it to a taxi – he made us an offer but didn’t speak any English. Mario called a driver for us for the same price who spoke English. He was a fabulous driver and we had him from 11am till after 6pm.
To start we wanted to hit the furthest ruin first in Pisac about 20 miles away but up and down mountains. He first took us in town to the church of St. Christopher which was build on the ruins of the palace of the first Inca king Manco Cappa.
Then he drove us past the ruins we saw the night before and got some nice long daylight shots.
The trip through the mountains and valleys weer wonderful – the Andes are so green and brown and some snow capped. We passed Puca Pucara from the road and took some photos but we went back to it later in the afternoon.
We saw so much of the countryside and finally some animals, cows, sheep, bulls, donkeys, horses. We also saw large ceramic and cooking ovens. We passed a textile school and an open air market but we had to manage our time wisely.
Pisac is enormous. It takes hours and hours to walk up and down the various sites and the Incan terraces. We drove to the top and walked around and then drove to the bottom and walked around. We were there over an hour and got some fun souvenirs and pictures.
Our next stop was at Tambomachay to see the Incan aqueducts, I only found out later it was the water of eternal youth but since I didn’t know I avoided it like all other non bottled sources. The market there was horrible and the prices were outrageous!
Next we went to Puca Pucarra which we saw earlier and was pretty small but nice and easy to photograph. By this time I was getting nervous because it was getting near 4 and the sun sets at 5:30 and is useless after 5.
The next place Salapunco was this large rocky outcrop with an Incan wall but was filled with natural caves. Tim and I climbed up to the top and then started climbing down and up and through the caves. It was wild and not at all easy. He would go and then I would with him showing me where to grab and where to put my feet. I made him take some video since no one would believe what we were doing. Alas I think it was here I split my pants and my black jeans are being retired until I find needle and thread.
The last stop (yes there is more) was to Qenko which is a giant sundial to predict the rainy season and an alter and caves to sacrifice lamas (with grooves to drain off the blood). They have also unearthed some mummies there.
With the sun going down we arranged for our driver to come back for use tomorrow morning for another grand adventure.
Since our tourist ticket had a lot of activities we were going to see the native dancing but Tim saw that the church was open for mass (meaning we didn’t have to pay) but more importantly that he could go to mass. We went and the place was packed because it was a wedding! We stayed but we left before they came running back down the being pelted with rice.
We then walked down past the Church of Santo Domingo which is very important and I may have successfully shot at night using the digital camera. Then off to the Centro Qosqo de Arte Nativo to see the 1.5 hour native dance show which was fabulous. At one point they asked us to all clap along but nobody could find the rhythm and a guy had to stand up and show it to us. During the intermission they gave out coca tea which I didn’t have but I went and got some great corn cake and saw this perfect museum (which Tim missed).
After the show the reopened the museum just for me and Tim and then we watched some of the dance students rehearsing. Next door we went shopping at a souvenir market. I finally found myself a sweater that fit! A baby alpaca sweater for $22 isn’t bad right?
Last we had to do he essentials. I needed Chapstick, Q-tips, water (I have been drinking my 2 liters per day and then some) and snacks. I bought a finger puppet from a little girl on the way back to the hotel. Everyone is selling them. Some teenager was pestering me why I didn’t want hers and I said I didn’t need any and she said it was to warm my fingertips!
So Tim and I have an 8:30 am wake-up call and the next adventure begins. It looks a little like this:
At 9:30 our driver comes to pick us up with our luggage.
He takes us to the ruins of the temple of the sun (in town).
Then we head out of town to Chinchero, then to Moray, then to the salt mines, then to Ollantaytambo (which has a huge ruin). In Ollantaytambo we will catch a train to Aqua Caliente and then spend the night there so that on Monday and Tuesday we can do Machu Piccu.
Tim keeps saying that two days there is too long but I´ve been firm about my intentions and insist on two full days. He gets these sudden bursts of energy in fact its 11:45 and he came downstairs telling me he heard live music and we should go find it (he of course has his harmonicas) – he also locked the key in the room. I told him to have fun so I can finish up here and get ready for the am.
38 rolls of film.
[Re-posted from my University Blog & Edited 07/01/2011]