Day 67 - Place of the Incas

Trip Start Sep 30, 2012
Trip End Jan 09, 2013

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Flag of Peru  , Cusco,
Thursday, December 6, 2012

Cuzco is a town of 500 000 people nestled in the Andes at around 2 400 m above sea level and is the centre of the Inca culture. The Spanish arrived here in around 1540, which was the beginning of the end for the Incas. We arrived, for our first real taste of Peru, at 1100, greeted by our guide for the day, Miguel.

A little peculiar and difficult to hear at times, we did enjoy him more as time went on, even if the peculiar stayed, he was very passionate about the Andean culture and was an easy going guide.

We jumped into our taxi which took us around for the day, our first stop Seksaywumen, an inca archaeological site close to Cuzco. It was our first glimpse of inca ruins. A fun way to remember it is it sounds like 'sexy woman'. Miguel explained that the Incas spirituality was around a trinity - with many of the temples and sacred places reflecting this in their design. Often through three levels. It was like heaven, earth, and hell. They funnily also have a cross which is a little different to the Christian look.
We only passed by Seksaywumen due to time constrains, but you can spend more time there with many sites over the conservatioarea.

We stopped at a road side tourist market for a look at the local goods. It was very interesting, with lots of clothing made from Alpaca wool - it is just so soft.

To show us these funny creatures we had a stop at a Lama and Alpaca farm. Interestingly they look similar. The alpaca has better wool. The lama is bigger. There are a number of types of both of them. They both spit if they are threatened - and the are of the Camel family. We got to feed some for fun. Tess had a jump when she thought one would spit, but luckily it didn't.
There was also a display on how the wool is produced and dyed. There were also a number of local using traditional looms to weave cloth. The shop had incredible products made from Alpaca, local arts and crafts. It was really fun walking around it with lots of unique goodies.

We continued our journey to the town of Pisac. This took us brought the sacred valley. Named such due to its highly fertile soil and good water source - which meant it was a centre of food production - giving it high importance.

Pisac is a little town, which seemed to be mainly market! We ordered our lunch at the restaurant, then went for walk through the market while we waited for it to be prepared.
For lunch Anton tried a local dish with Alpaca meat. The dish was very tasty.

Our last stop was the ruins of Pisac up a mountain overlooking the town. The way the inca cut terraces into the side of the mountain was incredible. The terraces were used to farm high up in the mountains. From where we parked we had a small hike up to where the house/temple ruins were further up the mountain. The scenery is beautiful. We got more of an introduction to inca ways. It was fascinating to see the cave grave sites dotted all over the opposite mountain side.

The end of our tour, we headed back rather exhausted (being at altitude your get tired faster) to our hostel, Casa de la Gringa. Someone came to the hostel at 1800 to give us a briefing on the next couple of days trip on the inca trail.
We headed into town for a quick bite to eat. The area of the town is the old Spanish colonial area which has been refurbished - really beautiful.
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milly on

yay - so nice to see it looking so green and gorgeous... tell Anton he must try go to one of the local chicharias! and ask if you can go to San Pedro market for a juice - just watch your cash!

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