34 Photos

Cruising Cusco
7 wonders at a 7 wonder

Narrow streets at hotel CuscoNarrow streets at hotel Cusco (Miki Thomaston)
We slept well.
We rose earlier than we wanted because the kitchen was right below us. Load noises and great smells were below us. And, the sun was out with a vengeance. We enjoyed our Peruvian breakfast of pop and yougur, plantains, runny eggs, small sausages, fruit and the thickest coffee you will ever meet. I gave new meaning to 1/2 and 1/2. I grabbed a coca mate for the road as we head to the ruins of Puca Pucara.
This was the mid-point for the runners, or chesques. It overlooked Cusco and beautiful fiels. The runners went in different directions from here. There were some small barracks for soliders and storage buildings. The location was strategic.
Tambomachay was a long walk up a gradual hill not far from Puca Pucara. It had a lookout post and 2 levels of fountains. It was said the fountains could return youth. Women came to drink from the righ fountain for a boy, the left for a girl and both for twins. The source was a long distance away (14 km) and the archeologists recently found this with tracers. The source was a lagoon. The water had never dried up. It was desined that way to preven anyone from poisoning the water.
Quenco or Labrynth, was a sacred place representing the 3 levels of live. Snake (under), pump (now), condor (after). There where stones represensting each animal. There was a weaving labrynth on the bottom. There was a break in the rock that created a room where an alter was located. It was freezing cold to touch.
Sacsayhuaman (or sexy woman if you need an easy way to remember how to say it), was next. So many symbols in one place! We walked into the wide open field where they had contests. You could see the zig zag shape that all the stones created. The largest stone was estimated to be 120+ tons. How could they have moved them! The shape represented a snake. Or lightning. Both important to the Incas. Ceremonies were held in the open area. Many rooms were around the sight to hold as many as 5000 Incas. This was the location of Manco Inca's last strong hold in 1536. He lead the rebellion and used Llamas with torches at night to fool the Spanish (acting as if he had more men). For 10 months he held off the Spanish. When Manco Inca fled, he went to the jungle, maintaining the secret of Machu Picchu. The Inti Payma festival is celebrated here for the Winter Solstice each year. Nearby is white-glow in the dark-Jesus.
Qorincho (Quechua name) or Santo Domingo church ws also known as the Temple of the Sun. The walls were said to be covered in 700 sheets of gold. The rooms, with trapezoidal doors and windown were all East to West to maximize sunlight. The room of the rainbow, the room of lightnight, moon and stars, were excellent shows of craftmenship in stone. They kept the collapsed ruins to show the locking system and the holes for the water system in one room in this church. We walked the outside and saw flawless Incan masonry. The Inca would stand at the top of the wall and address the people. There was also a huge gold disk positioned perfectley to project the sun. Also, some sort of sun dial was on the wall near it. Inside was the smalled Incan stone; our guide believed it wasn't a mistake. The church was filled with life size statues of women, llamas, trees, flowers when the Spanish invaded.
After all of the ruin visits and church visit, we hunt for a real Peruvian dinner experience. Across from Santo Domingo we find a courtyard and weave back into it to find a restaurant. The prices were low and the food was good. Great atmosphere. I had a sandwich with huevos, lechuga, tomato, polo. And lots of chilli sauce. Jo wins best dish with a chicken dish made with onions and yellow chillis.
We all head back for a nap. Then walk Avenido El Sol to the tetile center and nearby markets. We then head up to the Plaza. We visited San Fransicso plaza and rested. We visit Norton Rat's Pub on the Plaza de Aramas for a few drinks before dinner. Jo was cozy with the American born manager before leaving. Failed attempt at El Truko, lands us at Don Antonio's for supper. One last pisco sour and cuy (guinea pig).

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