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June 11th 2014
Published: June 12th 2014
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Outside Ollantaytambo Outside Ollantaytambo Outside Ollantaytambo

From the road, driving back up the Sacred Valley.
Left Aguas Calientes on the morning train back to Ollantaytambo. A nice easy ride, but, since there's only one track, there was a lot of sitting and waiting for trains to go by before you could continue down. In Ollantaytambo, I grabbed my big bag from my hotel, and Cesar was actually waiting right outside. He drove me back to Cusco in like an hour and a half.

One nice, brief stop along the way was an animal preserve just over the pass from Pisac. This awesome little place had native Andean animals, but the coolest I thought (mainly because they're the rarest) were the Andean Puma and the Andean Condor. The pumas lurk in the mountains of the Sacred Valley - but in their enclosure they looked just like big cats, and were gladly sleeping in the sun on each other. The Condor is actually the biggest bird in the world. They flew it for me, and it has an 8 foot wingspan! I was also absolutely blown away by the fact that Condor's live for nearly 100 years! No kidding. The one standing next to me was 90! Good God - and he looked really good for his
On the RoadOn the RoadOn the Road

Getting closer to Pisac.
age.

Cesar dropped me off in Cusco in the early afternoon and I basically just spent the rest of the day figuring the town out. I realized that being from Colorado is a huge benefit in Cusco because this city sits at over 11,000 feet. There are actually oxygen tanks in a lot of stores and bars for travels suffering from altitude sickness. But I've honestly been okay this entire time. It's just like being in the mountains back home. And in Cusco you really get back to a big city. There's a big, really nice Starbucks right on the main square.

Tomorrow I stay put and see some sights in town.


Additional photos below
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Andean Condors Andean Condors
Andean Condors

This guy is 90 years old!
Cusco Cusco
Cusco

From my hotel.
Cusco's Main Square Cusco's Main Square
Cusco's Main Square

Actually taken from the balcony of Starbucks.


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