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más ruinas incas y las calles de cusco (domingo, 19 septiembre)

Cusco, Peru


I was a bit sad to wake up this morning, realizing that today would be my last day (for a while at least) in Cusco. I showered, packed my things into my backpack, and turned in the keys to Wind, which had been my home for the past three days. Walking out of the hostel I felt overwhelmed by sadness, but then I realized it was silly to feel sad. I wouldn´t be leaving Cusco until later tonight. I was still here, and I should enjoy it as much as I could!

I walked down to the SAS travel agency which had booked my trip to Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley. I was hoping to go mountain biking out to Moray and possibly Maras, but there weren´t any mountain biking trips available that day. I decided to go on a tour with a small group to the ruins of Chinchero and Moray, and to see the salt flats of Maras.

In Chinchero we had great views of the ruins and the terraces where the Incans used to grow potatoes. The town of Chinchero was interesting too. We got to see how the native Quechua people spin wool, make the dyes for it, and dye the alpaca wool. They showed us the difference between alpaca and llama wool, and they explained about different types of plants and how they are used. The lady there passed out mate de muña to try. Muña is a plant used to treat stomachaches, altitude sickness, and to provide more energy.

We then got back on the bus to go to Moray. Moray was really neat, and I´m glad I saw it. No one is sure exactly when or why Moray was built, but they think it was to experiment with agriculture. Moray is a multi-level circular terrace. The farther you go towards the center, the deeper the terraces are. They say there is this lots of energy at the center, so we climbed down to the middle of the terrace. Instead of normal steps, there were slabs of stone stuck diagonally into the terraces, which made climbing down a challenge. In the middle, I laid down in the grass, and definitely felt the energy there. It was a calm type of energy, but refreshing and revitalizing. It was really neat. Then we had to climb back up the terraces to get back on the bus.

I had no idea what Maras was or what it looked like, so I was in for a total shock when we arrived. Looking down the hill there are all these salt pools in bright shades of white. I have never seen anything like it and it´s incredibly difficult to describe. The salt flats are built into the hillside, and they are bright and beautiful.

Once back in Cusco I walked around the markets for a while, visited an internet cafe to check my email, and headed back up to the San Blas area. As I was walking along I saw the girl who´d done my massage on Tuesday, and she offered me a deal to get a manicure for about US $3, so I went with her back to the spa/ massage place. Even though I´m not a big manicure person, every so often it can be nice. Her friend, Ana, did my nails and painted them dark, metallic purple. We spoke in Spanish about different places in Perú and our families the whole time, and it was nice. The part of the building where she did my nails was outside in this courtyard with plants. Downstairs these guys were playing the guitar and flute, which was nice to listen to.

After that I wandered around San Blas and talked to some street vendors selling different types of stones. This one guy had this really pretty pink stone that I´d never seen before. I liked the energy it had. He said it was a pink opal, and it was pink because of the pressure in the volcanic mountains where it was found. Then he asked what my birthday was and I told him June 3. He said since I´m a Gemini, this is one of ´my´stones and that the energy it has should resonate well with me. I asked what kinds of properties the stone had and he explained about it being good for recognizing and balancing your emotions as well as perceiving the emotions of others around you. It was expensive but I couldn´t resist. I ended up talking the price down to about half of what he wanted.

It was just starting to get dark when I wandered into The Muse, a restaurant just around the corner from my hostel. The sign in front said it offers vegetarian food, so I decided to try it. I ordered a mulled wine, Yuquitas (yuca is a type of potato but it´s a little bit sweet) with honey, guacamole, and ají, and vegetarian curry. The yuquitas were delicious, and while the curry wasn´t as good as the curry I´d had at NKo on Thursday night, it still was a great meal. There was another single female traveller eating at The Muse, so we talked for a while before I had to walk down to The Marquesse, the hotel next to the SAS office where they store people´s luggage.

Víctor, guy working at the hotel got my backpack for me and helped me hail a cab. He said some of the taxis in Cusco are not legitimate and can be dangerous or try to rip you off. He stopped three of them before finding a cab that was safe. While waiting for the cab we talked briefly. The Marquesse seemed like a nice hotel, and it made me think of how someday if I ever have a lot more money than I do now, it would be nice to stay there. As I got in the cab, I thought about how much I´d enjoyed Perú.

I bought my ticket for the twelve hour bus ride back to Arequipa. I thought about how fantastic my trip had been, and how most of it was for reasons I hadn´t even thought about before...the spiritual gift of the San Pedro cactus, trying yoga, having been tested by uncomfortable situations but learning from them, meeting new people, self-discovery, healing, and learning about things I never knew even existed.




permalink written by  Sara Florecita on September 19, 2010 from Cusco, Peru
from the travel blog: año de dos inviernos (Chile 2010)
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Sara Florecita Sara Florecita
1 Trip
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-I am participating in the Inglés Abre Puertas program run by the Chilean Ministry of Education.
-Hobbies include travelling, writing, reading, learning Spanish and Italian, long-distance running, music, and art.
-I am a college graduate who is trying to find her place in this world.
-I...

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