Trip Report #3 Cuzco Peru

I have so much to show you that I may have to do several more posts! If you missed the first ones, here’s a LINK to the beginning.

Cuzco is wonderful. We all loved it. Not just because of Machu Picchu, but because it’s quaint, clean, people are polite and friendly, and they have great food! Cuzco was a very pleasant surprise. The gold statue in the square is Pachacuti, the ninth ruler of the Inca empire, and the guy who had the vision to build Machu Picchu.
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Cuzco is 11,500 feet above sea level. Some people have serious issues at that altitude. It didn’t bother me very much, I only had a little headache. I did not take altitude meds, but JJ did.

Hola from Cuzco! Let’s have a closer look at this llama.
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He’s a relative of the camel, can you see the resemblance? Maybe a little goat in the mix???
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And then I saw this. Honest to Pete, what is it! Turns out it’s a Peruvian Hairless Dog, and it’s a breed recognized by the AKC. Who knew!
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Apologies to the vegetarians out there. Llama tastes very much like cow. Left is slow-roasted, right is grilled with chimichurri sauce (the green stuff). A little chewy, but it tasted very good.
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This was our guide, Percy. He’s very passionate about the culture and history of the Inca; he made it come alive for us.
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This is JJ (below), waiting for us to return, conserving his energy. Oxygen is in short supply at this altitude and you tire quickly. We are at Ollentaytambo (Oy-yen-tay-tombo), where they built warehouses (out of rock of course) to store food and supplies.
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When you have no flat ground to plant crops, you must make terraces. The mountains are VERY steep here. Steep and TALL!
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The Inca cut rock like you wouldn’t believe, and they did it before iron was discovered, using only other rocks, no tools. Just look at these sharp edges and 90-degree angles! 1-IMG_2030

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The steps seem to go nowhere. We’ll see more incredible rocks later.

Some local color.
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The markets are so colorful, but these pieces especially caught my eye.
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A close-up. I loved these!
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How about these weavings?1-IMG_2053

A taxi! No lie!
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After we left Ollentaytambo we went for lunch. They made empanadas in a brick oven. Delicious! We had garden-fresh salads, grilled meats, and of course potatoes. Peru has over 3,000 varieties of potatoes!
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Of course there was a show. These horses weren’t just trotting along, they were dancing.
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And now, finally, we board the train for Machu Picchu. This is a view of the Andes out the train window.
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Outside of hiking the famed four-day, 26-mile Inca Trail, the train is the only way to get into the Sacred Valley of the Incas.

Next time we’ll visit Machu Picchu.

Comments

jenclair said…
So colorful! The two of you are certainly well-traveled!
Anonymous said…
Good show, Sis! Photos are so colorful. The dog is not the prettiest on the planet, but probably the sweetest. M.
Wow, I can't believe you are back already! What a wonderful trip!