Puka Pukara

Subsequent to visiting Q’enko, I walked up to Puka Pukara. Puka Pukara is an Incan military complex that protected Cusco during the Incan empire. At least that is the prevailing theory. Others think it was a place where hunters/travelers rested as well as Incan nobility. What I have learned from visiting so many archeological sites is that it was probably all of those. The use can evolve even if there is no change in the ruling civilization but it’s even more dramatic when there is that change.  The grounds In one of the upper areas I found an entrance to this cave. I entered it with my headlamp but quickly abandoned my exploration when the ceiling closed in on my lanky ass. It appeared to continue inward on the left hand side but I didn’t have the appetite to crawl through the mud nor crack my head open.  You’ll notice that some…

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Q’enko

Today I would take my first local bus in Cusco for about 30 cents. The destination was Q’enko. Q’enko is another archeological site in cusco and is one that is on the boleto touristico. As a reminder that is the tourist ticket that gains you access to 16 different sites in this region and is good for 10 days. Q’enko had a few purposes. It has an astrological significance as the main vertical stone was presumed to help measure the seasons. Unlike my trip to Sacsayhuaman, this time I did get a guide. He spent an hour with me for about 20 soles which is about $6.15USD. After explaining the significance of the stone above, we discussed the amphitheater which I somehow failed to photograph. It was not very large and surrounded the astrological stone. It had a placement for 19.  The Labyrinth Then we headed to the maze-like route. The…

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Sacsayhuaman

After two days of vegging I bought my boleto turistico, a ticket that allows entry to 16 sites including Sacsayhuaman which I visited today. It is the major archaeological site accessible in cusco with monolith construction. I took the same way up as I had for Cristo Blanco. It was all on foot and uphill. I got my ticket punched at the ticket control and entered. Immediately I was asked if I wanted a guide by a couple of people. Not knowing their qualifications, nor wanting to be rushed through, I opted not to get a guide. Guides are hit or miss. You can have a fantastic one, or a crappy one. The site is vast. There are multiple levels to the main structure and several ancillary sites. I took these stairs up first and walked around the top area.  I soon found myself at a viewpoint that wrapped back…

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Hiking up to Cristo Blanco

I woke up and had a long talk with my host Euler about the construction of the new international airport, his background, and his activities. It was refreshing to speak with someone so thoughtful, driven, and with a long term plan. At the moment he was working on setting up his tour company. After our talk, I went back to what will undoubtedly be my regular spot for lunch. The meals are good, filling, and cheap. The plan for today was to walk around the historic center. The church of Santo Domingo was one of the first things I stumbled upon. I thought I would enter until I saw it was inundated with people. As I attempted to take some photos, I found out my camera battery was dead and started taking photos with my phone.  Something I am not the most comfortable with. I just think it’s a good…

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Arrival at Cusco

I gifted myself a 22.5hr bus ride to cusco on what I consider to be a luxury bus. There were definitely cheaper ones but if you are going to be stuck on a bus that long certain things make a difference. I booked with cruz del sur, a company I am familiar with. They have drivers that don’t speed on hair pin turns, are well organized, and stick to their schedule as much as possible. While I had traveled with them before, nothing could have prepared me for the level of comfort that awaited me. Things I did know? That I would be on the second level of a double decker bus and that I had a loaner seat. What I mean by that is that the layout is 2 seats on the left side of the bus and one on the right. All seats had touch screen displays that…

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