Trip Start Jan 06, 2010
42Trip End Apr 20, 2013
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The ride to Cusco from Puno was amazing, passing through landscape of green lush canyons, rivers and small towns. We passed a couple of taxi drivers pulled over on the side of town jamming on the guitar together, little children laying in a grassy field, twisting flowers in their hands, piglets napping and women washing clothes in the rivers. The only downfall to the ride was that we could see the driver kept nodding off and the weight of his head jerk him awake. A British passenger behind us ran up to the front to see if he was, in fact, falling asleep and he assured us that he was, but an attendant was next to him poking him into consciousness. Eventually the bus pulled over and we got a new driver, conveniently at a common enough place that there were people selling crafts, children dressed in traditional attire with baby lamas in their arms offering a photographic moment for change, and enormous corn on the cob with homemade cheese, delicious!!
Once in Cusco we, for some strange reason, missed Arequipa. Cusco is great and beautiful and has a lot of great archaeological sites nearby but we really didn’t like all the people asking us to buy whatever they were selling or asking us to eat at their restaurant and if we said we were full, they would try to sell us drugs. All the older adults we talked to didn’t seem to have the drug offering issue but Cusco and Peru in general, is popular for it’s pure cocaine among some young travelers, so we were offered quite a bit. Obviously we would never take that kind of an offer and so it was just an un-classy thing we had to deal with. What was not only un-classy but purely disgusting was the museum of Cusco’s artifacts in the basement of old Inca ruin, right in town. The museum may of had interesting things to see but I wouldn’t really know because the translation in English was so dreadful I stopped trying, and the bathrooms must have been the kind you can’t flush toilet paper down because it smelled so rancid I had to escape.
And now for the good stuff. The art museums were amazing, and the vegetarian restaurant we liked was so good we ate their 8 of our 9 days there. We loved going to Sacsayhuaman, pronounced “sexy woman,” where there are ruins with stones placed perfectly so there are no holes or cracks between them. Seeing all the other old Inca ruins was very interesting as well
We stayed in Cusco for 9 nights because we needed to stay in one place for a while and also because a couple of those days we got sick off of the only Indian food restaurant in Cusco, and didn’t leave our hostel room. Machu Pitchu was and still is closed until April so we will have to come back another time,oh whaa ;-). Overall Cusco was nice and I saw spectacular ruins but whereas some come to Cusco and never want to leave, I just didn’t get that feeling. Maybe it was all the hype.
Chris-So how many passengers can fit in a half ton nine passenger van. it's not a trick question. In fact, when the vehicle is used as a public bus it would be realistic to assume one can stuff fourteen people besides the driver, the man that opens the door and collects the fares, oh ya, and add Sarah and I. I think eighteen passengers can be counted all together. the idea that any two people can drive and collect correct fares for all the travelers in this circus side show made the fair for the ride a general admission ticket and worth every penny, or Sole. after walking down a high elevation highway in the pouring hail watching lightning strike so close that the thunder comes with no delay we jumped into this vehicular shaped poop-lic transportation. Though when lightning strikes less than a hundred feet away and the thunder roars loud enough to wonder if the earth was going to explode made that van look like a vessel of Latin angels coming to our rescue. I'm serious. lightning and thunderstorms like this got that Garth Brooks song stuck in my head to the point that I'm still praying for an ackie braky heart just to change the track. This adventure takes place in the longest known inhabited city in South America, Cuzco.
Cusco is a city thriving in culture. So thriving that it's very easy to take this culture home
So I wish Cusco the best and I hope that their exploitation will only have good effects in the continuing development of their culture. The archaeological sights are incredible and the fact that so many people travel from all over the world to see them reassure us that these many ancient sights are protected and will continue to be so no matter how the city of Cusco or the Sacred Valley change. The ruins will still be unchanged. Hopefully.