Cuzco.. the original town of the Incas


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July 8th 2008
Published: July 15th 2008
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Our bus ride from Nazca to Cuzco was officially our worst yet.. by a really long way! We hadn´t been able to book the Cama seats for the 16 hour ride so had to make do with semi-cama... oh the hardship! We got on the bus at 12.00am in darkness with everyone else asleep so had and had to try to make ourselves as comfortable as possible in the dark but this was not the worst part! Dale had seen the road that we were going to go along from the top of Cerro Blacno but had decided that it was in Sophie´s best interest that he did not let her know what he had seen. After about 10 minutes into the ride we were on this road and Sophie being in the window seat soon realised why he had kept the information from her! The road was as wide as the bus itself and was literally a carved flat part alongside the sheer mountain sides. From her seat all she could see what the long long long drop down!

The bus went zig-zagging up and up the road, being on the top of a double decker did not make for an enjoyable ride because at each turn the bus felt like it was going to tip right over so we both held hands and prayed that this was not the drivers first journey!! Consequentially we had no sleep all night for fear of tipping over the edge! What made things even worse (as it could be any worse!) was that they clearly hadn´t heard of air con so the temperature in the bus was at boiling point and we felt like we were being cooked for dinner! There were people being sick all over the place but luckily we managed to hold our dinner in!

Eventually it was daylight and as we approached yet more of the Andean mountains we were able to appreciate the fantastic scenery from the window as we went up and up into the clouds and beyond! Unfortunately in daylight you can also see the numerous crosses at the side of the road where people had obviously gone over the edge but the scenery took our mind off this and we managed to enjoy the final 6 hours of the journey and ended up safely in Cuzco at 3.30pm glad to have made it!

We had arrived in Cuzco a few days early but were glad to have the opportunity to relax a bit and not feel like we had to rush off anywhere else in a few days. Cuzco is at 3,300m above sea level so the oxygen is not as good as we are used to so we also had to take things easy for a few days to acclimatise to this before our trek. Our Inca Trail was booked for Wednesday so we spent the days leading up to it sleeping in, mooching around the town and enjoying drunken nights with our fellow travellers.

Yet again we are in a town which has so many clothes, jewellery and accessories that Sophie has to have her hands tied together to stop her from blowing our entire travelling budget! We have made a few essential purchases though.. alpaca wool gloves complete with Lama design (for the Inca Trail), a bag.. becuase Sophie obviously needed one for evenings out.. a lovely Alpaca Jumper for Dale and a few bracelets to maintain that all essential backpacker look!

The town itself is beautiful and a lot bigger than we had expected. Our hostel
Original Inca wallOriginal Inca wallOriginal Inca wall

This stone is famous for having 12 angles
is in a fantastic location just round the corner from the main plaza so not far to stumble home from nights out! There are lots of little streets and markets to explore and all the time you can see evidence of the Inca buildings which have been built with precision you would never see in the UK.. how did they do it??

To break up our relaxation we booked ourself on a horse riding trip for one day.. Dale had ideas of being a Gouco in training but the horses didn´t seem to have the same idea! Our group was quite small and we were led off to a number of Inca Ruins while our horse boy explained to us (in Spanish!) what each was for. Apparently a lot of the carvings represent various animals which bring spiritual elements to the chambers but you have to have a lot of imagination to see them! The first area was still being excavated and apparently they are finding gold there but we didn´t see any which was a shame!

At one area he took us into some tunnels under the rocks.. now he was about 4´tall so it was easy for him to scoot though these tunnels but for poor Dale at 6´2" it was quite a challenge! One tunnel was as wide as a person and half the height and you had to climb down into another tunnel in pitch black, you couldn´t even see you hand in front of your face and Sophie was reminded of all those horror movies she had seen so didn´t enjoy being the one at the back that always gets killed off first! We made it though the tunnel to the other side but not before we had to make another climb up the rock to get back to the top!!!

Aside from this the scariest part of the trek was crossing main roads!! Yes, here they have no fear of horses crossing main roads with cars speeding past and thankfully the horses don´t seem bothered either because of course you don´t get helmets here and neither of us fancied being kicked off a horse into a speeding bus!

So after many days of taking in Cuzco it´s time for us to do the Inca Trail.. we´ve had it booked for 6 months now so we have had lots of time to look forward to it so are very excited.....


Additional photos below
Photos: 41, Displayed: 26


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Sacred ValleySacred Valley
Sacred Valley

Where we went while horse riding
Dale in the Inca CaveDale in the Inca Cave
Dale in the Inca Cave

It really was pitch black in here even if the flash makes it look like there was light


15th July 2008

Nan/Pap at Steves
wont get me down the inca caves ,well done with the sand boarding,sand dunes awsome, everything looks fantastic hope you enjoying the inca trail, Your blogs look great keep it going good to hear your voice on my birthday. Love to you both Nan Pap
15th July 2008

Wonderful places
Hi u two. Am still enjoying your trip with you. What great things you have seen and done so far. Makes Mexico and Majorca look a bit tame but had lovely time. Your photographs are very professional. Look after yourselves. Lots of love Auntie Di. xxx
17th July 2008

Scary Bus Ride!
I met your mum last summer at Devil's Tower, Wyoming. She sent me the link to your travel blog, and I have enjoyed following your big adventure. That bus ride would have done me in. Now...how do you get back down?
17th July 2008

bus trip
well i know its not funny but i was in stitches reading your report on the bus trip and then about sophie wanting 2 spend all the money on trinkets & 2 top it all the story of dale trying 2 squeeze in 2 a tiny cave .. sounds like a classic comedy script , "brilliant".. cant wait 2 read the next instalment .. love 2 u both x
30th November 2010
Festival fun

Fantastic picture!

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