Blogs from Cusco, Cusco, Peru, South America

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South America » Peru » Cusco » Cusco September 3rd 2023

Have you ever pondered the issue surrounding the wonders of the world...? I have, and I usually always conclude that I wonder why there aren't more of them, at least in terms of how I value individual places of great beauty. Those issues aside though, among the officially-dubbed wonders of the modern world which I have set about ticking off a bucket list as I have journeyed my way through life, the latest to appear on the radar was Machu Picchu in Peru, and just about the first node on the Peruvian itinerary. Getting there was a case of ditching the rental car option at the last minute in favour of a rail journey to Machu Picchu Pueblo from the town of Ollantaytambo, which appeared to be the last stop-off point before road access to the ... read more
Cusco
Abode of the Gods
Plaza Mayor, Lima

South America » Peru » Cusco » Cusco July 2nd 2023

My 2020 weekly blogs were so popular that I'm reinventing them as a weekly travel tip! You'll also get links to my latest blogs and published articles. Please sign up for the travel tips on my website heatherjasper.com Here's a sneak peak from today's travel tip. Weekly Travel Tip #1 Sign up for flight price alerts. Travel doesn’t have to involve flying, but it so often does that I wanted to start my weekly travel tips with this important step. Every year, there are more and more great services that will help you find flight deals. Sometimes a credit card that you already have has travel services. Here are my three favorite services, with their pros and cons. For all three of these services, you need to have any idea of either where you want to ... read more

South America » Peru » Cusco » Cusco August 20th 2022

Sacsayhuamán is a fortress on the northern outskirts of the city of Cusco built in the 15th century at an altitude of 12,142 feet. According to oral history, Tupac Inca decided that the best head for the Puma shaped city of Cusco would be to make a fortress on the high plateau to the north of the city. In 1983 Sacsayhuamán was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Of all the breathtaking ruins in Peru, Sacsayhuamán was the one that left me in awe the most. Considering that the Spaniards used Sacsayhuamán as a source of stones for building the new governmental and religious buildings of the colonial city, as well as the houses of the wealthy, we can only imagine what it must have been like. Today, only the stones that were too large to ... read more
Sacsayhuaman
Sacsayhuaman
Sacsayhuaman

South America » Peru » Cusco » Cusco August 19th 2022

After the delicious buffet style breakfast offered by the hotel, we set out to explore the nearby Plaza Mayor of Cusco. At an elevation of 11,200 feet, most of the streets seem to involve climbing to some extent which I had deemed my enemy, but I absolutely loved the look and feel of the ones that seemed no more than narrow alleyways, mostly ending in small plazas surrounded by colonial architecture. The city was the capital of the Inca Empire from the 13th century until 1532. In 1983, Cusco was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and designated as the Historical Capital of Peru by The Constitution of Peru. Many believe that the city was planned in the shape of a puma, a sacred animal. Buildings constructed after the Spanish invasion often have a mixture ... read more
Around Cusco
Around Cusco
Around Cusco

South America » Peru » Cusco » Cusco January 29th 2021

After writing for almost a year about other people having Covid, I now have the opportunity to give a first person account of having Covid in Cusco. Thankfully, I had a very mild case. I had a fever for two days and a slight cough the third day after the fever was gone. Unfortunately, the person who brought it to my home was so sick that I had to play nurse for about a week, before a family member could come get him. I’ve done the contact tracing, which goes from my houseguest-turned-patient to his family, who live in a small town in the Sacred Valley. When I first realized that this was probably Covid, I found a list online of places in Cusco that supposedly can test for Covid. Of the 57 places listed, I ... read more
Use of a mask is obligatory
Danger!
Protect yourself from the Coronavirus

South America » Peru » Cusco » Cusco January 3rd 2021

Week 42: My blog is moving to https://heatherjasper.com Please subscribe to receive notifications about blogs posted there! I took last week off from blogging and spent a very traditional New Year's Eve and New Year's Day in Urubamba. Just like Christmas Eve, on New Year's Eve we waited until midnight, went outside by the nativity scene and gave everybody a hug, wishing them a happy New Year and putting yellow confetti in their hair. On Christmas it was multi-colored confetti, but for New Year, everything in Peru is yellow and gold. It's supposed to bring a prosperous New Year and goodness do we all need that after last year! Honestly, I am just so thankful that all of my friends and family survived 2020 and that nobody in my family got Covid. For most of 2020, ... read more
Traditional yellow & gold, with hand washing stations
The last chocolatada in Siusa
Clothes for kids

South America » Peru » Cusco » Cusco December 26th 2020

Sunday, 20 December, 2020 Hatun Q’ero is about a six hour drive from Cusco, which is why we asked the mayor of Paucartambo to send transportation that could pick us up at 5am. The night before he had sent a large truck to pick up twenty desks which were generously donated by the school where Henry’s sister teaches. Of course, the school has been closed all year due to the pandemic, so nobody has gotten to use these desks in 2020. All of the villages of the Q’ero Nation are part of the district of Paucartambo. Last Sunday, Sofia, who works in the Paucartambo’s mayor’s office, organized everything for our visit to Japu. Unfortunately, she was not available this weekend and we didn’t have anybody like her to help everything go according to plan. We were ... read more
Bare feet
Chocolatada
Volunteers

South America » Peru » Cusco » Cusco December 20th 2020

Sunday, 13 December, 2020 40 weeks is full term! Cusco has carried our Covid baby to full term, but now what? It has been a full nine months since Covid was officially diagnosed in Cusco, on March 13th. So much has happened, sometimes it feels like a full decade, not just one year. I don’t think that we’re yet at a point in the pandemic when we can actually have an idea of what the future will bring. I can really only focus on one day at a time. My biggest priority is surviving the pandemic, hopefully staying healthy until I can get a vaccine, not getting Covid at all. Anything beyond that is gravy. However, today was so overwhelming that it’s hard for me to call it gravy. I got up at 4am to go ... read more
Chocolatada
The Q'ero are Q'ero
Hot chocolate for all

South America » Peru » Cusco » Cusco December 12th 2020

Sunday, 6 December, 2020 Yesterday was amazing, but I am so exhausted by all of the travel. The farther out the villages are, the more they need help, so I’m bracing myself for a December full of twisty mountain roads that make me carsick. It’s certainly worth a little discomfort on my part to be able to reach families who need so much. Not only are the communities farthest from Cusco lacking in basic communication and medical care, they also don’t have any way to get to a town where they could buy basic necessities or try to get medical care. The pandemic is far from over and I am always impressed when we go somewhere that doesn’t have any Covid cases in the area. They really are staying isolated and I really want them to ... read more
Giant cauldrons of hot chocolate
Clothes for kids
The best volunteers

South America » Peru » Cusco » Cusco December 5th 2020

Sunday, 29 November, 2020 I’m still so happy about last week’s trek around Mt. Ausangate! The mountains here are one of the biggest reasons that I wanted to move to Cusco. It’s really amazing to see how different the climate here is, depending on the altitude. When you get down below the altitude of Cusco, you realize that you’re really close to the equator. Even just going to Machu Picchu, which is only about three hours away, takes you into the cloud forest and the very edge of the Amazon rainforest. When you head up into the mountains higher than Cusco, you are immediately in the high altitude ecosystem, where all plants are tiny and very few trees or crops can grow. I’ve always wondered why, and finally took the time to look it up. Part ... read more
The cauldron of hot chocolate
Waiting for hot chocolate
Linda




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