Strike day, so we stay in Cusco until early evening, a great opportunity to visit the archeological sites close by. Today we learned that the Incas knew all about geometry and knew how to use it. We had heard that the Incas did not use wheels and made some assumptions, but we were wrong. We learned all this at Sacsayhuaman, which is pronounced kind of like something Bloody Mary sang in South Pacific. It is an amazing place, and Marco explained just how amazing it was for the Incas to build it. Indeed they did not use wheeled vehicles on the narrow, mountainous roads, but they did use cylinders to build, often making geometric shapes (kind of like tinker toys) of the rocks, but instead of wooden dowels they used silver! All this was completed before rolling just the right stone, often chiseled to fit, into place with ramps. We look at the these mammoth stones in wonder, there is no mortar and yet after hundreds of years, earthquakes, rain and wind, not even a slip of paper could penetrate.
After dinner, we board our trusty bus for Ollantaytambo, but, due to the barriers in the road placed by the strikers, Marco decides it would be better to stay in Urubamba for the evening at a lovely hotel with restaurant where we gather and share stories of other adventures. The friendships made are definitely not part of the program, but the community of travelers is one of the many highlights of traveling with a small group.