RETURN TO LIMA

imageimageimageimageOUR DEPARTURE FROM THE THIN ATMOSPHERE OF CUSCO WAS NONE TOO SOON. MARGARET EXPERIENCED ALTITUDE SICKNESS AT 11,300FT AND REALLY ENJOYED OXYGEN RELIEF AVAILABLE IN THE HOTEL LOBBY.

LIMA IS BIG AND NOISEY WITH CONSTANT TRAFFIC. WE ENJOYED THE AFTERNOON SHOPPING AND TOURING THE CITY. WITH VISITS TO THE INDIAN & INKA MARKETS WE ARE FINALLY ‘SHOPPED OUT’. 

IMPRESSIONS OF LIMA? A LARGE AND VERY CLEAN CITY. WE OBSERVED VERY LITTLE TRASH ON THE STREETS. THEY ARE ADDRESSING THE TRAFFIC WITH NEW SUBWAYS UDER CONSTRUCTION.

 

CUSCO

SAN PEDRO MORNING MARKET. BEAUTIFUL FRUITS, VEGETABLES AND SPICES FROM ‘THE SACRED VALLEY”, @ 11,000FT IN THE ANDES. LO0K CLOSELY AT THE DETAILS IN THE MARKET – CURIOUS THINGS ON EVERY SHELF. ONE BOOTH WAS SELLING MYSTICAL HERBS AND TOKENS. 

NEXT STOP TO THE CUSCO CATHEDRAL. THE SPANISH BUILT IT ON TOP OF AN INKA TEMPLE. OUR GUIDE POINTED OUT ORIGINAL INKA STONE WORK, SPANISH/MOORISH ARCHITECTURE AND WONDERFUL PAINTINGS AND RELIGIOUS MURALS. THEN A DRIVE ANOTHER 1,000FT OVERLOOKING THE CITY. 

IT’S DARK NOW WE SIT IN THE BAR AT THE HOTEL LISTENING TO TOURIST CHATTER AND MUSIC. imageimageimageimageimageimage

MACHU PICCHU THE VILLAGE

imageimageimageTHERE IS A VILLAGE IN THE VALLEY SERVING THE INKA CITADEL. WITH 2000 RESIDENTS EMPLOYED TO SERVE THE LARGE NUMBER OF VISITORS ARRIVING BY TRAIN EVERY HOUR. CROWDS ARE LIMITED TO 2600 PER DAY AND ACCESS IS DENIED WITHOUT A VALID TICKET AND DON’T FORGET YOUR PASSPORT. THEY CHECK. 

RAIN AND CLOUDS KEPT US FROM RETURNING TO THE CITADEL ON OUR SECOND DAY. WE OPTED TO TOUR THE CHARMING VILLAGE WITH OUR GUIDE ‘BELMA’. SHE HAS BEEN A GUIDE FOR 20 YEARS AND HAS LED A NUMBER OF HIKING EXPEDITIONS ALONG THE INKA TRAIL. SHE TOLD US OF THE SPRING WHEN THE RIVER FLOODED AND KNOCKED THE TRAIN TRACKS OUT OF SERVICE FOR 3 MONTHS. 

YOU MAY OBSERVE IN THE LAST PHOTO WE ARE BOTH USING HIKING STICKS. CLIMBING UP AND DOWN UNEVEN ROCK STEPS IN THE RAIN THE PREVIOUS DAY TAKES ITS TOLL ON 72 YEAR OLD KNEES. 

 

MACHU PICCHU

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Who’s for dinner?

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Cousin to Maggie?

WE MADE IT! CAUGHT A MID MORNING TRAIN FROM CUSCO TO MACHU PICCHU, THEN A HAIR RAISING BUS RIDE UP THE MOUNTAIN ON A SINGLE LANE ROAD THAT THE BUSES COMING DOWN HAD THE RIGHT-OF-WAY! 

THE INCAS BUILT MACHU PICCHU AS A CITIDEL FOR THEIR LEADERS. ELABORATE STONE WORK AND ENORMOUS GRANITE BLOCKS RISE TERRACE UPON TERRACE.  THE SUN CAST A LIGHT ON THE ALTAR IN THE TEMPLE OF THE SUN AT 7:20 AM DURING OUR LAST WINTER SOLSTICE, AS IT HAS EVERY YEAR SINCE MACHU PICCHU WAS BUILT, IN THE 14TH CENTURY.

TRADITIONALLY GUINEA PIGS ARE EATEN IN PERU, NOT CUDDLED. THEY HAVE BEEN ON THE MENU OF THREE OUT OF FIVE RESTAURANTS SO FAR.

FINALLY, FOR THOSE WHO KNOW MAGGIE ROSE, SHE MUST HACVE A COUSIN IN MACHU PICHU!

CUSCO

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CUSCO IS A SMALL TOWN AND THE GATEWAY TO A MAJOR TOURIST ATTRACTION – MACHU PICCHU. THE AIRPORT POSES AN INTERESTING LANDING….  THE PILOT HAS TO NAVIVATE THE VALLEY PASSES TO ARRIVE SAFELY AND THEN SLAM ON THE BRAKES.

WE TOURED A CAMELID FARM WITH ALPACA, LLAMA, VICUÑA AND LAMINI’S. ALL WERE FRIENDLY AS LONG AS WE KEPT FEEDING THEM GREEN STALKS OF GRAIN. SEVERAL OF THE CREATURES COULD BENEFIT FROM AN ORTHODONTIST.

CUSCO’S HISTORY IS STEEPED IN THE ‘OUI-OUI’. THATS THE NOISE MADE BY GUINNEA PIGS, THOSE FURRY CREATURES POPULAR AS PETS IN THE US. IN CUSCO THEY ARE ROASTED AND FEATURED ON RESTAURANT MENUS.

Wandering in Lima

Saturday. Not so much traffic, but a lot of people out shopping and enjoying a beautiful day. We went to Larco Museum, Pre-Columbian pottery, textiles and lots of gold, Lunch in their garden restaurant. Taxi to Miraflores on the beach. Upscale shopping. Interesting people watching. Seafood dinner and sunset.