Despite two naps and a still nagging cough I did quite a bit of wandering around on day one (yesterday) to get my bearings of the city. I did no research on what to do in Cusco since the Inca Trail trek is my main item for this leg so I was mostly trying to be outside so that I could stay awake! The weather is much nicer and warmer than I anticipated and the altitude (11,000 feet) isn't too bad, I just use it as an excuse to be out of breath at the top of the hill. Today after twelve hours of sleep I wandered up to Sacsayhuaman which was pretty spectacular both in the mind boggling 'how on earth did this get built so many years ago' and for it's fantastic views back over Cusco. I also checked out Convent Santo Domingo which is a 17th century church built on top of an Inca temple. Lots of photos are now up so check them out on the photos page or directly to the album here.
What I learned in Cusco...
- There are llamas everywhere - mostly baby ones for tourists to take photos with. I did see a woman with a llama on a leash wearing a diaper (the llama, not the lady!). Photo proof here
- The central area is quite flat but the roads quickly narrow and start going uphill - fast!
- Coca Tea tastes better than I thought but not sure it has any affect on me
- Of course there's an Irish bar, and yes I went in to check it out (and had curry chips for you Irish out there)
- There really are llamas everywhere. Lots of photos of them today
- The Incas really were brilliant (and I haven't even been to Machu Picchu yet) - Cusco has numerous examples of structures and walls that they built using massive rocks, all cut perfectly straight, at right angles, and put together with nothing other than perfect fit (no mortar!). My dad would have loved it.
- Cusco has a White Christ statue but it's got nothing on Christ the Redeemer in Rio
- There's no need for a selfie stick when you have a phone and a GoPro - I will be attempting to figure out how to attach the GoPro to my trekking poles tonight.
Heading off for four days on the Inca Trail tomorrow. Had a briefing with the tour group tonight - there will be 16 of us, three guides, and 20 porters. I took my last shower for four days tonight and savored every minute of it. It's going to be a lot of baby wipes from now til Tuesday. I am allowed 5kilos for my bag that a porter will carry, and it weighed in at 5 on the dot. Whew.
Will post again on the other side of this...