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Cusco and Surrounds

Cusco, Peru

After our amazing week in the Amazon and getting our camera gear wet, we arrived in Cusco. Wow, what a pushy city!!! Too many street touts trying to sell you everything from finger puppets to different tours. By the end of two days, we were well and truly ready to head into the mountains for our Inka trail trek.

Apart from the harrassment, Cusco is actually a beautiful city. It has the customary Plaza de Armas (in every city or town). Very nice cathedrals and some great small hikes to do in the surrounding area. This was especially good for us to prepare and get acclimatised for our trek.

Our first day was mainly spent trying to get our wide angle lens sorted out!! As it turned out, the Amazonian rain, well and truly ruined it! Bummer. So after a good day of stressing and trying to find a ´reputable´dealer in Cusco (there aren´t many), we were able to sort it out with a second hand lens. (Sigma 18-50. f 2.8 for those techno people).

We also saw a religious parade on the main plaza with school children as the main focus. Their brightly coloured clothing and head dresses were spectacular. As it turned out, there seemed to be some sort of parade nearly everyday we were there. Not surprisingly, Sunday had the biggest celebrations.

We did a day hike to the four ruins around Cusco. This entailed catching a local bus to the furthest one and then walking for approximately 4-5 hours back into Cusco.

The first ruins were Tambo Machay, Puca Pucara, Qenko and then finally Sacsayhuaman. (Sexy woman!) The ruins were a great introduction to the Inka culture for us and the final ruins were certainly the most spectacular. Admittedly, the altitude got to us this day and we did find it hard work walking up hill to our hotel at the end of the day!! Not too bad really just a slight headache and short of breath. Cusco is at 3326m and the furthest ruins of Tambo Machay are even higher at 3700m.

Our last night was spent meeting the rest of the trekking group, who were all Americans, made up of two other couples and two girl friends. More on this later!!

Off to the trail we go!! Woo hoo.

Keep the emails coming. We love to hear from you all.

Oh, by the way, my rash cleared up after about a week. I think it was heat rash, combined with mozzie bites!! So no weird jungle fungus Chris.....

C and C xx

permalink written by  chrishoorweg on September 9, 2007 from Cusco, Peru
from the travel blog: and one last trip before we come home.........?
tagged Cusco

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Border Crossing II

Yunguyo, Peru

On the way back to Peru, we now have our second illegal border crossing to contend with. Helen (English) crosses in the usual way while Jason and me (American) kind of casually tiptoe our way back to Peru, since our passports say we should already be there anyway. A policeman sees us but doesn´t seem to care enough to stop us.

We take the bus back to Puno, have lunch, and then it´s a much longer haul (8 hours) to Cusco. We get the first place we can find near the neighborhood of San Blas.

permalink written by  paco on October 22, 2009 from Yunguyo, Peru
from the travel blog: High-Altitude Peru
tagged Bolivia, Peru, Cusco and Copacabana

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Exploring Cusco

Cusco, Peru

The guys running the hostel are jerks so we opt to find a better place in the neighborhood. San Blas has a great view of the city, with narrow cobblestone streets and steep roads that in some cases only hold enough room for pedestrians.

We take care of our plans for the Inca Trail and start to enjoy the city. Plaza de Armas is the main square with two huge cathedrals and a giant plaza where all sorts of activity happens.

Everyone tries to catch up on email and we finally get some do-nothing time.

permalink written by  paco on October 23, 2009 from Cusco, Peru
from the travel blog: High-Altitude Peru
tagged Peru and Cusco

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Inca Trail Prep

Cusco, Peru

More exploring of Cusco by going down to the market where all sorts of local food and crafts visited by locals and tourist alike.

We take care of the rest of the arrangements to start the Inca Trail on Sunday. After renting sleeping bags and walking sticks we head to the first briefing for our trek, where we meet our guides and the rest of the campers with whom we´ll be spending the next four days.

permalink written by  paco on October 24, 2009 from Cusco, Peru
from the travel blog: High-Altitude Peru
tagged Peru, Cusco and IncaTrail

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High-Altitude Epilogue

Lima, Peru

Nursing bug bites, sore knees and calves, we opt to take it easy in Cusco over the next couple of days. I do some exploring around town for a few more photo opportunities, but mainly we spend time being lazy and figuring out the next stage in our respective tours.

The final night in Cusco we head to the km0 bar in San Blas and throw a few back while enjoying a band playing cover tunes into the wee hours of the night.

The next day I part with my friends who head out to Iquitos, presumably for some adventuring in the Amazon basin. I head to Lima in preparation for my flight home.

Killing time, I catch a cab to the Plaza de Armas and do the tour at the San Francisco monastery. In addition to some remarkable architecture and art the tour includes the catacombs below, which include the remains of over 35000 people.

Back to the airport, my tour comes to an end. This time there are no mishaps on the way home, just a very long day.


permalink written by  paco on October 31, 2009 from Lima, Peru
from the travel blog: High-Altitude Peru
tagged Peru, Cusco and Lima

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