Blogs from Cusco, Cusco, Peru, South America

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South America » Peru » Cusco » Cusco August 22nd 2019

Today we visited the major Inca sites around Cusco, learning about the complex religious and social structures that existed before the Spanish invasion in 1532. We began at Saqsayhuman (pronounced 'sexy woman'), an Inca city built in the shape of a puma - which must have taken extraordinary geometry and engineering skills, as well as abstract thinking because the puma is only visible from the air - as if the Incas were creating it to be seen by the gods. The city was a major centre for governing the massive Inca empire. Even for me, who is not particularly interested in engineering, it was fascinating to learn about how they moved the massive stones and even set them on round rolling stones as foundations so they would move during earthquakes. Some of this was only learned ... read more

South America » Peru » Cusco » Cusco August 21st 2019

The start of this holiday was a series of challenges with our Melbourne to Syney flight delayed due to high winds causing us to miss our Sydney-Auckland- Lima connection and our one day tour of Lima and resulting in lost luggage, which we are told is now en route and we hope will arrive tomorrow. But there was a silver lining - we had a lovely unplanned day in Auckland courtesy of Qantas, had lunch with cousins Natasha and Rob, and took in a little of the views from the Waitakere Ranges. I also managed to convince Qantas to compensate us by moving our return flights a couple of days later so we can see Lima at the end so if the luggage turns up it will all work out. But today the holiday really got ... read more

South America » Peru » Cusco » Cusco June 4th 2019

4th June – Fly to Cusco (rest day) – this place literally took our breathe away!! Only our second day in Peru. There was no let up at this early stage as we took the 1 ½ hour flight to Cusco, 3400m high in the Andes. On arriving at Cusco airport, we were met by a guide who distributed a multi coloured ticket which we would need to bring with us on most of the tours as this was our entrance in to the ancient sites and other attractions. I noticed a desk that had a sign above advertising Inca rail. I chuckled to myself when I thought of some poor unsuspecting traveller buying a ticket expecting a train to Machu Picchu or the Sacred Valley when in fact the sign was missing a ‘T’, that ... read more
Paddington and Pooh lining up for their obligatory shot!!
Alpaca outside the entrance of Saqsayhuaman
The staggered walls of Saqsayhuaman

South America » Peru » Cusco » Cusco March 30th 2019

This has certainly been a spectacular 3 months for us. Quito, Galapagos, Selva Amazon Lodge, Cuenca, Barranco/Lima & now 12 days on the road to Nazca and beyond. The schedule is hectic. Many days start at 5.30am and involve plenty of walking, climbing and scrambling, mostly at altitude. I can’t say enough good things about Peru Tourism. We looked at their suggested tours then custom built our own 12 day trip. They looked after everything...transportation, transfers, accommodation, guides entrance fees and many of the meals. All the hotels have been top notch, way above what we would normally book. And the cost a very reasonable $5300US for the 2 of us. No, I’m not on their payroll! 3 Panoramas above, 5 second delay between each: 1. The Andes Mountains behind Arequipa. Misti is the perfectly shaped ... read more
Huacachina oasis
Nazca overflight
Overflight route

South America » Peru » Cusco » Cusco March 5th 2019

Gegen Viertel nach acht ging es direkt nach dem Frühstück in Richtung Christo Blanco. Und jetzt durfte ich das erste mal spüren wie sich etwa 3.400 Höhenmeter auf mich auswirken. Und zwar gar nicht mal so gut. Und jetzt wollte ich sogar noch ein paar drauflegen. Gewiss ist das man sobald man auf dieser Höhe ankommt Probleme mit entweder nicht ausreichendem Sauerstoff in der Luft bekommt oder Anzeichen von Kopfschmerzen bis zu krankheitsähnlichen Zuständen oder beides. Gegen beides sollen die laut UN unter Drogen fallenden Cocablätter helfen. Doch ich kann bestätigen, das viel Wasser und Geduld auch helfen. Und wenn man auf die Blätter zurückgreift, dan sollte man genug nehmen, denn von drei, vieren hat man gar nichts und man hätte sich die 50 Cent für die riesige Tüte auch sparen können. Bei einer guten Handvoll ... read more
El Christo Blanco
Doch diese Aussicht sollte mein Lohn sein
"Sexy Woman"

South America » Peru » Cusco » Cusco March 4th 2019

Also ich kann im Vorraus schon einmal sagen, dass mich heute die Regezeit in Cusco doch noch erwischt hat. Und doch habe ich noch zwei Sachen von meiner Liste streichen können. Nach einem enspannten Frühstück, welches wieder das gleiche war wie am Tag zuvor, habe ich mich aufgemacht, um noch eine Kleinigkeit zu essen. Und meine wahl viel auf eine kleine Pastete, gefüllt mit der hiesigen Spezialität lomo saltado, was am Ende wahrscheinlich bloß gesalzenes Fleisch war, aber in Kombination mit dem süßen Teig, der es umgeben hat, war es super. Dann ging es mit neu erstarkten Kräften weiter zu der Kathedrale, die am Tag zuvor noch von Feiernden Karnevalisten blockiert wurde. Dies ist, wie zu erwarten, eine katholische Kirche und dementsprechend pompös war sie ausgestattet. Im Hauptschiff befanden sich meterhohe Gemälde, die diverse Heilige und ... read more
Das Hauptschiff
Der Markt San Pedro
Eine Auswahl an Früchten

South America » Peru » Cusco » Cusco March 3rd 2019

Today we are going on a tour of Cusco and surroundings; Circuit No 1. Tickets to attractions are sold in packages so you can’t pay to visit just one site. So our circuit consists of Sacsayhuamán (the bottom of an Incan fort – the Spanish removed the top to build their cathedral), Qenqo (an ancient temple), Puca Pucara (ruins of an Incan military site) and Tambomachay (an Incan baths with aqueducts and waterfalls) and, of course, the obligatory stop at a gift shop where they sell llama wool products. At the end of the tour, we are dropped off at the edge of town and have to walk back through the main square. It’s carnage. It’s carnival – this basically means that everyone has either a can of foam or a water pistol and we have ... read more
Sacsayhuamán
Sacsayhuamán
Sacsayhuamán

South America » Peru » Cusco » Cusco March 3rd 2019

Nach einer wohligen Nacht durfte ich wieder etwas Zeit totschlagen, da es erst ab halb sieben Frühstück gab. Das war aber nicht weiter schlimm, dann habe ich eben meinen ersten Eintrag verfasst. Als ich dann ein Stockwerk höher auf die Dachterrasse gestiegen bin, um jenes Frühstück in Empfang zu nehmen, erwartete mich ein toller Ausblick über die Stadt und leckeres Frühstück. Es wurde Papaya, Banane und Apfel serviert, Dazu einen Smoothie aus Orange, Papaya und Banane und gottseidank auch Kaffee. Etwas später kamen noch Brötchen mit einer Marmelade, die zumindest Ingwer enthielt und Rührei. Gestärkt habe ich mich gemütlich in Richtung Stadtzentrum aufgemacht. Und während ich noch ein wenig verträumt durch die Gegend blicke und Fotos schieße, komme ich auf dem Hauptplatz, dem Plaza de Armas, an und stelle fest, dass ich nicht im geringsten alleine ... read more
Eine der vielen Tänzergruppe
So langsam füllt sich der Platz
Hier wird eine Choreografie vorgeführt

South America » Peru » Cusco » Cusco March 2nd 2019

We finally reach Cusco just before 6 am. It has taken 24 hours, 3 taxis, 2 buses and a ferry. We are tired, hungry, thirsty and smelly so it’s a relief to check into our hotel. After we have regrouped, we go for a wander round Cusco. It’s very pretty with cobbled streets, plazas and plenty of old churches and other buildings. But it’s hard work dodging the hundreds of touts and vendors. Especially as my back has not coped well with the 17 hour bus journey. I go to a pharmacy and ask for something for backache. I am offered some huge pink tablets that look like they could tranquillise an elephant. She’s disappointed when I opt for just Paracetamol. In the afternoon I retire hurt while the old man goes off to do important ... read more
Plaza de San Francisco
Plaza Regocijo
Plaza de Armas

South America » Peru » Cusco » Cusco November 4th 2018

Up at 3.25am for my Alternative Rainbow Mountain (Palccoyo) tour. It is called "Alternative" because the original Rainbow Mountain (Vinicunca) tour is now extremely popular but is also a difficult trek because of the altitude. The alternative one is actually three smaller mountains and the hike to the top is about one hour instead of 2.5 to 3 hours, so figured it was much more achievable. Whatsapp is used extensively through South America and the tour guide Carlos sent messages to each person when it was their turn for pick up. I was picked up at 04.05. First stop after 30 minutes was a Bakery where were all given some bread to share but later on at a roadhouse called Quinta Restaurant near Checacupe we had breakfast. There was an unscheduled stop along the way and ... read more
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