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January 6th 2011
Published: January 11th 2011
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Spent yesterday recovering from the mammoth 14hr bus ride from Nazca to Cusco and getting acclimatised to the altitude.

So now for birthday number 41: wandering through cuzco's cobblestone streets lined with inca walls and colonial buildings in the glorious sunshine; cheap and fun shopping for cute mementos and gifts with tasha; yummy lunch overlooking a beautiful park; visits to a bunch of awesome ruins; delicious dinner where wayne somehow managed to manifest a scrumptious cake complete with my name and had panpiper/charango players sing me happy birthday in spanish with the whole restaurant clapping along; great coffee; pleasant evening stroll with my love to find a birthday present and check out everything lit up at night. Buenissimo!

In the middle of Cusco there is evidence that this was once an Incan city, from the stones so precisely fitted together along one of the narrow Incan streets that are laneways now, to the remains of a major Incan temple of the sun Koricancha (meaning "Golden Enclosure") with a Catholic church built over it of course.

We visited Pukapucara (beautiful views with llamas to complete the vista), Tambomachay (water fountains and terraces along the Inca trail known as the bath of the Inca) and Sacsayhuaman (often described as a fort but apparently more of a storage and ceremonial centre, they continue to uncover more of the site and parts were closed off as archaeologists are currently working on them although the entire site was pillaged by the Spaniards who used the stones for churches and houses so mostly what is left is whatever was too big for them to move - massive stones fitted together with amazing precision to create huge walls) in the mountains above Cusco.

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