27-28 October – Days 97 and 98
Cusco, Peru (and surrounds)
Well – we had a lovely surprise on our first full day in Cusco.. it was the anniversary of the Patron Saint of Cusco, so the city is awash with celebrations. There were people dancing in bright, traditional outfits in the square, military marching bands and parades galore. It was excellent! We spent most of the day exploring Cusco city, including wandering up to the Incan ruins just above the town, Sacsahuaman (colloquially referred to as ‘sexy woman’), which National Geographic magazine has called “arguably the greatest Incan ruin outside of Machu Picchu.” It’s thought that it was once a royal complex, and the way the giant stones have been slotted together to form massive walls and fortresses was very impressive.
We also met up with another Aussie couple staying at the hostel, Allison and Christopher, and ended up hiring a taxi and a driver for the day on the 28th to visit some of the other sights that are close to the city – but too far away to walk. This included a Church at Andahualillas and pre-Incan ruins at Pikillacta, where you can still see the original street walls over an expansive grid. It also included the highlight of my time in Cusco, Tipon.
Tipon is a ginormous, 500 acre site all about water engineering and conservation. It was incredible! The walls, the waterfalls, the channels, the streams, the baths, the view, the constant sound of gently bubbling water… I loved it. We spent a while just walking around checking it all out, climbing incan steps and listening to the water gurgling away.
For the rest of our time in Cusco, we wandered around the old town in the city, went to the markets, did some washing, got Adrian’s motorbike jeans restitched after they were torn in the wash (oh yes.. understandably he was NOT happy about that) etc etc! All in all, it was a lovely couple of days off the bike.