First full day

17 09 2009

Still exhausted, we treated ourselves to a cold shower and some breakfast this morning. We went and bought water and stopped in a couple tour agencies. Contemplating our options, we eventually decided to do some hiking today. We ended up doing a tour of four ruins around Cusco.

The first one – Saqsayhuaman – was a steep climb from our hostel. We weren’t sure we wanted to pay to see it, but we ran into a guy from TN on our way up and he insisted that it was a deeply spiritual experience and that we simply had to go. Neither of us were expecting that kind of experience, of course, but his description of the ruins was convincing.

The Incas laid Cusco out in the shape of a Puma, and part of Saqsayhuaman formed the head. There are even zig-zagging walls that formed the teeth. There was a sweet view of Cusco from the top.

After getting turned around briefly, we asked a taxi-driver for directions and made our way to Quenqo. There was a cave with an altar inside where they believe animal sacrifices were made. There were insanely deep trenches all the way around that the blood would flow through.

Next we planned on hiking the 4km to Pukapukara, but about half way there it started to rain and the hail followed shortly thereafter. So we turned around and found a mini-bus to take us the rest of the way. I was freezing at this point, and the ruins weren’t that great, but the view of the Andes was incredible.

Finally, we made the short walk to Tanbomachay – and intricate aqueduct system that many believe served as a ceremonial bath for priests and nobility.

Margo and I sat and just looked at the mountains for awhile before running into a Malaysian family from our hostel. We got on a minibus with them (eventually there were at least 18 of us crammed in there) and then shared a taxi back to the Plaza.

We ate dinner at Pucara and then grabbed a pisco sour at Lek.

The teeth of the puma

The teeth of the puma

Hanging out on the altar

Hanging out on the altar

At our last stop overlooking the mountains

At our last stop overlooking the mountains




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