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South America » Peru » Cusco » Cusco » Cusco June 13th 2014

My last day in Peru started with a morning hike outside of Cusco for the Incan fortress of Sacsayhauman. This hike was wonderful. You climb out of Cusco for maybe 20 minutes, and for the last half follow a stream that falls down from the steep terrain. It was also a beautiful day. The main reason for this hike is to see the absolutely massive rocks at Sacsayhauman. The Inca's were somehow able to move massive boulders and place them perfectly together. I know this might not sound impressive, but you have to realize that the Inca didn't have a lot of technology. They basically had to use sheer muscle power and grit. And I always find it crazy that when the Spanish invaded, the Inca mainly threw giant rocks at them. Just think about that ... read more
View Over Cusco
Nice Countryside
Near the Top

South America » Peru » Cusco » Cusco » Cusco June 11th 2014

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 ... read more
On the Road
Close to Cusco
Macaws at Preserve

South America » Peru » Cusco » Cusco » Cusco May 18th 2014

After a breakfast of hot donuts drenched in hot chocolate sauce, we loaded our bags onto the boat. We had an hour and a half boat ride to Puerto Maldonado. The water is a thick brown and looks like hot chocolate. The river side is green upon green with so many types of trees and plants everything begins to blur together. These boats are probably 40-50 feet long, very shallow, canopied in the middle and can carry 20 of us with ease. So they don't go very fast with a medium sized motor on the back. We have to step across the bows of 4 other boats with our bags, when we dock. We've gotten good at balancing over the past two weeks. We take a tuk tuk to the airport and arrive 3 hours early ... read more
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South America » Peru » Cusco » Cusco » Cusco May 17th 2014

In the morning, we all left for Cusco. The busses here run an hour late. We share the aisles with chickens in bags and the sound of chicks. It's a comfortable ride and we get to stop half way and buy rice and chicken from road side ladies for 2 dollars. We arrived in Cusco in the mid afternoon and went searching for hostels. We split up to try different areas looking for cheap and clean. We ended up close to the town centre with 5 to a room and shower attached. There was a courtyard with bar and travel company, the bar is where breakfast was served. Next, we needed to find food. We consulted the guide books and found a nice place with a menu de dia for 17 soles, only about 6 dollars, ... read more
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South America » Peru » Cusco » Cusco » Cusco May 17th 2014

Hola from Cusco...one of the most beautiful cities I have ever seen. I took the bus from Ica to Cusco and it took around 17 hours. I booked myself in the VIP section of the bus so that I could have a good nights sleep. My chair was huge and there was no chair next to mine (and no screaming children..hooray!) I had a personal screen with internet and films in English. This is the life! The VIP section costs probably five pounds more..think I will travlel like this more often! My journey was comfortable and as I approached Cusco I could feel the altitude. My breathing started to get deeper and I had a little bit of tummy ache. I caught a taxi from the bus station after haggling with him to lower the price ... read more
Traditional dress
Guinea Pig!
Heating the cocoa beans to make the chocolate

South America » Peru » Cusco » Cusco » Cusco May 9th 2014

I just want to relax. Phil took a city tour thru Lllamapath. I ended up walking the town and did catch one of the open topped City tour buses. Cusco is really very walkable. They don't allow pictures in the church, but snagged one off internet, The Last Supper painting displayed showed a Guinea Pig as the main course. Saqsaywaman is a Inca ruin just outside of town. Tour guide was frustrated with Americans calling it "sexy women." Also went up on the hilltop to visit the "white Christ" statue that overlooks the city and serves for wayfinding around Cusco. I walked to the City Market to check our the various products offered. I have really enjoyed the different fruit, and enjoy the refreshing taste of the Pricky Pear Cactus. Picked up some nuts, coffee and ... read more
Cathedral
Hostal terrace
Hostal terrace

South America » Peru » Cusco » Cusco » Cusco May 2nd 2014

2 May 2014 Friday. Lima was ok, but we were really looking forward to traveling through the heart of the Inca Empire, and its capital Cusco. The morning was spent flying from Lima to Cusco. We checked into our hotel with enough time for a light lunch (see picture of Linda with her chicha morala drink...by now her favorite...made of purple corn) before the tour started at 1:30 pm. First a word about tour guides. The information they impart does not seem to come from a common source that all tour guides draw from. Each has his/her own version of "facts" that is often contradicted by subsequent guides. It didn't take long for us to accept the input with a grain of salt...judging for ourselves based upon the evidence presented whether to accept the stories being ... read more
Linda with a bowl of the variety of corn
Linda enjoying her chicha morada
Terraces in front of the Temple of the Sun which is on the left

South America » Peru » Cusco » Cusco » Cusco May 2nd 2014

I left Copacabana under grey skies. Overnight there had been a ferocious thunderstorm and the weather remained unsettled. It felt like a good time to be moving on. The journey up to Cusco was a long 12 hours. The border crossing into Peru was fairly straightforward but then we had to wait whilst we changed buses at Puno. We were the first people on the bus to Cusco and for a brief period had the luxury of near empty bus. It couldnĀ“t last. Before too long the bus was full to overflowing and resembled something approaching an impromptu food market as various locals tried to sell everything from sandwiches to more exotic local specialities. My first impression was that Peruvian buses seemed much more relaxed about stopping on request. As a consequence it was a stop-start ... read more
Looking Down at La Plaza De Armas
Sacsayqaman - above Cusco
Inca Masonary at Sacsayqaman

South America » Peru » Cusco » Cusco » Cusco May 1st 2014

In the morning, we all left for Cusco. The busses here run an hour late. We share the aisles with chickens in bags and the sound of chicks. It's a comfortable ride and we get to stop half way and buy rice and chicken from road side ladies for 2 dollars. We arrived in Cusco in the mid afternoon and went searching for hostels. We split up to try different areas looking for cheap and clean. We ended up close to the town centre with 5 to a room and shower attached. There was a courtyard with bar and travel company, the bar is where breakfast was served. Next, we needed to find food. We consulted the guide books and found a nice place with a menu de dia for 17 soles, only about 6 dollars, ... read more
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South America » Peru » Cusco » Cusco » Cusco April 28th 2014

(I've embedded a number of websites...right click on web address and select "Open Link in New Tab") I was scheduled to depart 5:30pm arriving in Lima at 11:30pm, think it is central time. Sitting in the airport, I cannot get my head around the fact that a casual conversation over beer and lunch, on Phil's deck, has resulted in a trip of a life time. A big thanks to Phil for all the efforts to put a conversation into action. Also a big thanks to Lydia, my daughter, for taking on the responsibilities of taking care of my granddaughter Adelyn, not to mention the Wood Ducklings. And, of course, Ruth, who has supported and put up with me for 41 years. (If you are reading this sentence, just be aware that the blog entries for Peru ... read more
Cusco historic town square




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