Travel Journal


(Tuesday 26 April 2011) by Mike and Julie's sort of round the world trip
Day 253-4 4/17-18/11
I arrived in Cuzco blind having no idea where exactly I was. I picked the Plaza de Armas as a landmark and walked a bit, asked directions, walked a bit more, asked directions, and so on for a few kilometers till I got there and then found a suitable hotel for about 12 dollars.
It was fairly early so I went to the Museo de Arte Precolombino. I wasn’t expecting much as these are usually stuffy places with glass cases of broken pottery bits or reconstructed red vases with black zigzags on them. Some of the pieces here were amazing though and, though served a function, were beautifully made. Photos were allowed inside so I’ve included a few.
I had a late lunch of an American club sandwich in an Irish pub in Peru. The results as you can guess were a weird mix of flavors. I did try a Pisco Sour drink which is famous here which is a creamy sour drink that was pretty good. I called it an early day and went back to the hotel to catch up on my sleep.
The next morning I thought I would get a ticket out of town for the following day. I knew Flores bus line had a ticket out in the evening from my brief stop at the bus station a few days before but I could not find a ticketing office. To heck with it, I’d just walk the three miles to the bus station and see the town. I did and bought a ticket for 6PM the following day that would get into Nazca the following morning at seven. I stopped at a local restaurant and got breakfast which was a simple affair of rice, a fried egg and fried bananas. By the time I got back to the Plaza de Armas, I wasn’t feeling too good and felt a fever coming over me. I spent the rest of the day in bed and slept for about twenty hours awaking the next morning feeling much better. Here’s a view from the bedroom window.
I checked out and left my bags at the hotel and went down the alley from the plaza which had the twelve-sided stone that I had seen often in travel documentaries. The Incas sure knew their stonework. Up the hill from the hotel is Saqsaywaman – or “Sexy Woman” as the pronunciation is similar to. It was an Incan fort above the valley with impressive ruins. The name actually means satisfied or full falcon a grisly name given to the feast of the falcons on the thousands of dead warriors left on the battlefield for control of this strategic point. The site is only about twenty percent excavated but still captures your imagination from the zigzag wall representing a puma’s teeth to the large open parade grounds where llamas graze. The hilltop also provides great views of the town of Cuzco below.
Next was the Ingesia de Santo Domingo which I had passed a couple times on my walks but never entered. The church, as was the custom, was built over a religious Inca site so there is a strong contrast of the stone base and the building atop. The monks have opened the church up to the public and you can see both Inca rooms and older parts of the church.
I collected my bags and flagged down a taxi to the bus station. Cuzco is a beautiful town and I wish I hadn’t lost a day being sick to discover more of it.

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