My Life as a Dog

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Peru / Panama 2013 - Cusco

Thursday, Sept 5

We spent the early morning flying from Lima to Cusco. No rest for these travelers. Once getting into Cusco, we were taken to the hotel, Eco Inn, where we were given coca tee to drink to help with the altitude change. Cusco is at 11,000 ft above sea level. I was having a headache and a little dizziness. But it was hard to tell if that was from a lack of sleep or from the altitude. I drank the tea anyway and took a few Advil.

While several in the group opted to take a nap at the hotel, we were a little too excited to do that. Plus I was hoping that I would sleep good that night by not taking a nap. We wondered down to the Av El Sol to the Plaza de Armas where there were several large cathedrals which made me feel like I was back in Italy. A few things that we noticed right away. First there were police everywhere! Almost every intersection had a police man or woman there. Also there were tons of dogs all just running around wild. They all seemed pretty tame and not aggressive. We were later told that they actually have owners and were not strays. But they obviously were not taken care of like dogs generally are in the USA. Our guide also told us that Cusco is one of the safest cities in the country. With all the police presence I can see why.

After exploring a bit we got hungry and headed back to eat at the restaurant in the hotel. I ordered Lomo Saltado which was delicious. It was then that I realized I had pretty much ordered the exact same thing in Orem at La Careta.

After lunch the tour group boarded the a bus and when out to ruins right next to Cusco. The ruins are called Saqsayhuaman but our tour guide kept calling them "sexy woman" which made it easier to remember their name. :) There were quite a few llamas running around at the ruins. And from the ruins we could look back down to Cusco. It was pretty breathtaking and this was just the beginning. As we were leaving the ruins there were lots of people selling their goods and people dressed in traditional clothing asking for a "propino" (tip) to pose for a photo. After Sexy Woman we went to a smaller ruin site called Q'enko.

After the ruins we headed back into town and back to the Plaza de Armas. Only this time we went in Quirkancha and the Cathedral of St. Domingo.