We have spent a few days in Cuzco now, getting here before we set off to the Amazon and back again before and after Machu Picchu . Both were great, but in this town, everything is priced in US dollars. Bit of a pain when you are accustomed to thinking in the local currency but now have to account for a third currency. This also causes price inflation of course, and breeds a new spieces of very aggressive hawkers. Today, a lady tried to make Sara take and pay for a picture of herself (in traditrional clothes) with her Llama….. while she was breast feeding. We thought it a bit over the top….
Anyways, Cuzco. We have stayed at some nice hostels, and some not so nice hostels. Our last was in the latter category, but we couldnt be stuffed changing, so we are just putting up with the dirt (you dont throw toilet paper in the toilet here, you put it in the bin next to the toilet and ours aint been cleared out for a while).
While here, we have submersed ourselves in the local ruins, cuisine and parks. Its a nice city, but I think that you get the feeling you dont want to stay for too long or your money will be gone too. Coming here from further south really highlights how mainstream Cuzco has become as a staging point for Machu Picchu. We havent seen such a concentration of other tourists yet in Peru.
Corn in the market
Cuzco prides itself as the cultural capital of Peru, and is also the old Inka capital. Many of the spanish churches here have been built on the bases of Inka palaces and temples. We have been to the Sacred Vally with Ollaytantambo and Sacsayhuaman (pronounced sexy-woman) just outside Cuzco. However, this all pales when compared to Machu Picchu. Therefore, Ill keep this post short, and rather put the rest in the Machu Picchu post, which we will put together ishortly.
Building blocks for the Inkas
Church engraving in Cathedral