Cusco/Machu Picchu Part 1

Welcome back friends!

Lorna here again… Brian is really dropping the ball on writing any blog posts. Freeloader 😉

I have been so excited to tell you all about Cusco and Machu Picchu! This was the second and final half of our Peru trip. I also have to share this funny and not so funny part as well. Sooooo whilst packing for this grand adventure, neither Brian or myself thought about the extremely variable weather conditions we would encounter being in two very different areas. Haha like visiting California and Wisconsin in winter in the same trip and just packing for Cali. Maybe not THAT extreme but you get my point. We packed for the hot sticky 80 degree amazon weather but when it came to the significantly cooler mountain weather of Cusco and Machu Picchu, we were left a little bare. On average the weather was between 40-60 degrees (including nights) so we may have had to buy a jacket or two.

This is the differing views as we flew into Cusco vs Iquitos (the Amazon) quite a difference to say the least.

We met with a group of our friends for this half of the adventure. They had flown in from another part of Peru.

One thing we were all warned about was the elevation. Many travelers get elevation sickness due to well, elevation Cusco. Our traveling companions all had a bit of the sickness throughout the trip. Oddly enough neither Brian or myself had any issues. Every hotel, store, restaurant offered coca tea, or mate de coca, that is meant to aid elevation sickness. And yes, these are the coca leaves that contain alkaloids which are the base for cocaine. We were getting crazy in Peru! Totally joking the tea contains such small amounts of the chemical we were all in the clear. Here is our friend Steve holding one of the cups of coca leaves from the hotel as we walked the streets of Cusco.

Our awesome friend, Kris, booked our hotel room in Cusco and boy, was it the cutest little thing. In the picture below, Steve took this photo from the ground level of the hotel and Brian is standing on the level you walk in from the street. It was set in the ground. So cool.

We walked around Cusco all the days we were there, which is a city full of character. There are parades all the time in the area we stayed in. At first, we thought there were gun shots going off but it was just fireworks from one of the many parades!

The main square we were in was called Plaza de Armas. Big beautiful cathedrals surround the area. You can get a ticket to the main one or to all of them. We got tickets to all the cathedrals and made a day of walking to each of them. This is a view of the Plaza from the highest cathedral we visited. So we walked in kind of a circle around the city up this hill and back. Good workout.

This area was definitely more tourist-y and for shopping but it was fun none the less. Fun fact: Did you know Ceviche is originally a Peruvian dish? I love Ceviche but in my area it is more of a Mexican style made with shrimp, whereas the original Peruvian Ceviche is made with fish and is lemony 🍋 and delicious. All of the ceviche I ate, which I partook of almost everyday, came with hominy.

Here is a photo from an upstairs restaurant Brian and I stopped in a few times because the view was great of the square and, surprise surprise, it had great ceviche. It was always such a hustling bustling little square.

Last of all we could not forget to mention the 12-angled stone. This stone is a famous artifact/location in Cusco but it sits right in the middle of a walkway and if you weren’t looking for it you could walk right by it! The photo below shows the walkway and the right side stones is where the 12-angled Stone is located.

This is a photo of Brian standing next to the stone so you can get an idea of size. Also you can count all 12 angles.

This stone was part of an Inca Palace. This stone shows how advanced their architecture was and it’s said the rocks fit so perfectly together you cannot fit to a piece of paper between the stones. I just think they had help 👽

This brings the Cusco portion of our trip to an end and look out for our next post from Machu Picchu! Try to guess the level of difficulty (for myself) this hike was compared to all the other hikes I have done. I will give you the answer in the next post!

We hope you enjoyed our visit to Cusco and we are signing off. You guys are awesome

And Remember to Always,

Travel Nomader What

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