Welcome the the Inca Capital

Trip Start Aug 01, 2008
Trip End Aug 16, 2008

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Where I stayed
Sol Plaza Hotel

Flag of Peru  ,
Sunday, August 3, 2008

Okay...... After one and half day of long traveling, I am ready for some sight seeing.

This morning I woke up around 8 am, ate a quick breakfast and fell back asleep until the hotel manage woke me up that my ride is here.

On the flight to Cuzco I met a very friendly couple called Jeff and Susan who are biologists. They are also heading for Cuzco and doing the Machu Picchu. We had a nice chat on the flight about their experience in Ballesta island and Paracas of which I will be visiting later as well. They told me about their trip to Costa Rica and Galapagos Island seeing the wild life was just amazing.

Altitude sickness is a major problem that above 8100 feet people can start getting sick such as nausea, vomiting, headache, short of breath etc. Cuzco is 11000 feet and Machu Puccu is 8000 feet. How the Peruvians fight this problem is by either chewing coca leaves or drinking coca tea. I bought some acetazonamide, a diuretic that excretes bicarb ions which cause the body to go into acidosis and make our body hyperventilate, thus adjusting quicker to the thin air at high altitude. Luckly I didn┤t develope these symptoms but I was really tired. So I took another Diamox ( thanks to David who told me to get started 2 days prior) and then took an 1 hour nap.

I spend the rest of the afternoon walking around central Cuzco┤s Plaza de  Arma and walking down the ancient cobble stone street of Loreto to the former Inca site of Qorikancha. The only thing left behind of the former Inca capital is the stone foundation. The Spainards had converted the Inca building into a Catholic cathedral. The Plaza de Arma reminds me of the many city center squares that I visited in Mexico.  I took a bunch of photos right at sunset so the lighting is perfect on cathedral fašade. Absolutely beautiful.

For dinner, I walked up the staircases up to Plaza San Cristobal and tried some local meat !!! This include a mix of seaweed, cluster of fish eggs, onion bread, piece of chicken, sausage, piece of Guinea pig ( tastes like Peking duck but gamier) dried corn. I was eating while watch a pre-parade tomorrow and people are just setting up.

I spend the rest of the night walking around the the Plaza de Arma people watching and taking some amazing photos with my Digital Rebel Xti and tripod. Check them out !!!! Tomorrow I will be doing the Sacred valley tour. See ya.
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