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Cusco Old and New Cusco Mixed Peru Pictures Machu Picchu Sacsahuamán Lake Titicaca
This is Herman, explaining the historical significance of this alley.
Herman is a retired, Peruvian history teacher. When Herman heard we had altitude sickness, he offered to cure us. He gathered up some herbs and brought them to our hotel. He had us lay down on our beds. Then he rubbed the herbs on our bodies in some places I don’t care to mention.
This eleven-sided stone is famous in Cusco. It is perhaps 2 feet high, and 4 feet long. See alley picture, above. This wall was built about 800 years ago. No mortar was used. This wall has withstood many earthquakes. The stones fit so tightly together that is impossible to fit a small knife blade between them. Amazing!
This woman was selling wall hangings made from llamas wool.
This gentleman was playing pan pipes at one of many Cusco bar/restaurants.
Old and New Cusco
The Spanish tore down many Inca structures. The lower, rounded portion above was built by the Incas. The Spanish built a church on top of the Inca structure. An earthquake destroyed part of the church but didn’t damage the Inca structure.
View from inside Inca building, looking at Spanish church courtyard.
In Inca hallway, looking at Spanish church.
It is amazing that the Incas built these walls about 800 years ago. They were built without the use of any kind of mortar.
The guide explained that the Spanish left some of the Inca structures alone and built a new church on top of the existing structure. Everything to the left of me was built by the Incas. Everything to my right was built by the Spanish about 400 years later.
Mixed Peru Pictures
This is our tour guide, Rosa. She and her husband Lucio took us to a restaurant called La Chamba. In front of me is a glass of beer made from fermented corn. It’s called chicha. I also have a plate of chocla con caso, which is corn and cheese. The corn kernels were huge. The cheese was a little salty – the perfect compliment to the corn. Rosa had a cell phone, yet it was rare to find phones in a home.
Some mountains in Peru and Bolivia are so high, they have glaciers.
We never saw any tractors on this farmland. I wonder why.
This must be a Kodak moment.
Eduardo is pushing me through the market. Those aren’t giant poodles in the foreground. Those are llamas. Though related to the camel, they can only carry light to moderate loads.
The Pisac market was very colorful. Potatoes are a staple in the Peruvian diet. The Peruvians also invented freeze dried potatoes. They smashed potatoes, then let the water evaporate from the potato. This way, they were able to store potatoes over long periods of time. Potatoes were introduced to Europe from South America.
Pumas were very important to the Inca culture.
Our train to Puno was delayed 10 hours. While waiting, we met Anya and Doug from Germany but then living in Buenas Aires, Argentina. To the left of me, under Don’s hat, is my extra cushion – don’t leave home without it.
Jeff leaned out the train window to get this shot. The colors and fragrances were unbelievable.
These are the giant terraces at Ollantaytambo. The colorful specks, in the center of this picture, are people. See the picture below for some perspective.
These terraces are indeed GIANT.
These mountains, though beautiful, made travel difficult. It is hard to imagine how the Incas quarried stones and carried them to building sites more than 600 years ago.
It is difficult to find a perfectly vertical wall in Inca buildings. They believed it was important to be off the vertical by 11 degrees.
The stonework was amazing.
I hired these 2 young guys, Alex 19 and Jaime 17, to haul me up and down the Andes.
A Peruvian farmer showed an American, Hiram Bingham, Machu Picchu in 1911.
Machu Picchu can be reached by a three hour rail journey from Cuzco, into the Urubamba Valley. From the train station at the bottom of the valley a fleet of buses takes tourists about 2,000 feet up the winding Hiram Bingham highway to the Inca ruins.
The views from Machu Picchu are extraordinary.
At the base of the ruins, we found we still had a long way to go.
Fortunately, the driver of this truck noticed we needed help. He offered us a ride. That’s Jeff on the left, mugging a tourist.
That’s Jeff on my left, Lucio on my right. Lucio, a Peruvian Drug enforcement agent, is husband of Rosa, our tour guide. Sacsahuamán is one of the most famous Incan ruins.
Here I am, just giving perspective to this photo.
That’s Jeff, holding up the wall all by himself.
Incredible masonry work, isn’t it?
That’s Lucio pushing me around.
Compare this picture with ones above to imagine the size of this Inca structure.
Opposite to Sacsayhuaman is Rodadero, a giant rock hill with numerous stairwells and benches carved into the rock.
Here’s Don and Jeff posing with Uro Indian women and children. Lake Titicaca is revered by the Indians who live on its shores, and the Islas del Sol and Islas de la Luna, two islands in the lake, are the legendary sites of the Inca’s creation myths. The main town in the area is Copacabana, which has a sparkling white Moorish-style Cathedral and is host to the Fiesta de la Virgen de Candelaria. The Uros are world-renowned for its totora reed boats. They built their island with reeds, they eat the reeds, they use them to build their huts, they use the reeds for just about everything.
The Uros made magnificent boats.
A couple of Uros women are rowing by their island.
We took a boat from Peru, across Lake Titicaca (the world’s highest navigatible lake), to Bolivia. Here, I am sitting in the back of a small boat.
As usual, there were plenty of steps.
This boat was plain but functional.