Colourful Indian girls. © Josh
The cobblestone streets survived numerous invasions by the
Chileans, Bolivians and Spanish. They could tell a million tales of mystery and
intrigue. Today, in Cuzco's Plaza De Armas, this ancient vibe transcends through
architecture and scenery that has remained unchanged for centuries.
The town boasts a very hip backpacker scene
and going from the mountains and jungle pass through this bohemian bottleneck
We wandered around its antique streets until we got lost
then we wandered
around some more.
Photo. Two Indian girls in Cuzco.
We couldnt resist these two.
Cuzco definitely tops the list of the world's most fascinating travel
Food in Peru is extremely delicious.
The fruit is fresh from the jungle and the fish are pulled out of the Amazon
every day and delivered to your table. A lot of local restaurants offer
western dishes as well as Peruvian fare. Some exotic meat choices include llama,
alligator, guinea pig, and various fried up insects. Marna and I stuck to the basics
opting not to try any local
At least that's what we thought
To celebrate Marna's 31st birthday we decided to skip the 2 sole special (66
cents for a huge set menu!!)
We went to the slightly upscale Inca Grill in
downtown Cuzco. Desiring a taste of home, Marna ordered the lasagna
couple bites were delicious as she gobbled them up
famished from the hike
earlier in the day.
Suddenly she bit into something hard and chewy. After grinding the mystery
meat in her molars she spit it out to find a cooked guinea pig paw
and all! Ewwww!!! Although considered a local delicacy, the menu said
beef! We were not amused by the fuzzy nub in her lasagna. Needless to say,
Marna ordered only chicken for the rest of the trip. She was totally freaked out
by the "Fear Factor" stew in front of her.
|Photo. Meeting of local Indians on our way.
© Josh Cutler.
Later we joked that somewhere in Cuzco there was a guinea pig with a slight
limp because of our cook
its good we can laugh about it now
Viva la shopping
Southern Peru is a shopper's Mecca. Our plan for the last day in
Cuzco was to venture out of town on the public bus to
the Sacred Valley. In the town of Pisac there is a massive market
Photo. Pisac market...A little local enjoying
Marna couldn't resist a chance to shop
especially in this infamous
Locals dressed in traditional garb appeared as if they stepped out of another century. ©
Photo. Locals shopping in the Mercado. © Josh
I took fantastic pictures that would make National Geographic jealous. The
colours of the market were blinding! We wandered around and spent some of
(Peruvian dollars). Fine examples of alpaca wool were everywhere,
there was no shortage of selection
Marna made friends with the vendors and her
español helped us get the best price on alpaca wool sweaters, ponchos, hats and
we are set for winter!
After our backpacks reached their limit in wool we made our way to the Sacred
Valley ruins of Pisac and Sacsuayhuaman (pronounced "sexy woman").
Photo. Massive monoliths at the ancient site
Sacsuayhuaman (pronounced "sexy woman").
The ruins of Sacsuayhuaman makes Stonehenge look like a bunch of
We wandered around the ancient artefacts consisting of colossal
stones weighing up to 300 tons! It baffled me how a culture without
modern machinery could move such monoliths!
The ruins form the design of a jaguars head from the sky
the massive 20 foot
tall rocks towering overhead were the jagged teeth of the beast. We stared at
the ancient Incans with their primitive tools really created this
primitive masterpiece. Archaeologists estimate that only 20% of the site is
actually excavated. We were literally seeing just the tip of the iceberg!
(outside London) is nothing compared to this!
Massive monoliths in Peru at the ancient site Sacsuayhuaman
(pronounced "sexy woman").
© Josh Cutler.
The day was winding down and the distant sun was
setting in the horizon. Mañana we would head back to Lima to wind down our trip.
This quest to the distant corners of Peru far exceeded our expectations and
dreams. We highly recommend a trip to this enigmatic country thriving with
culture, nature and history. From the jungle, desert, islands and mountains
really experienced a lot of what Peru had to offer.
Josh Cutler, 8 November 2004
Presentation of the author:
Photo of Josh Cutler, a great adventure traveller from USA.
Copyright for all photos in this article: Josh Cutler.
E-mail address: NYCutler@aol.com
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