Michele here…we are way behind on the blogs but think we may be able to catch up today (May 24th). We are actually in Ecuador now but we will write about that later.
The day after we got back from Machu Picchu (May 11th), we did not plan anything and did not do too much. In the morning we bought post cards, burned CDs, and did research on jungle lodges around Iquitos, Peru (since we would be flying there on May 15th). In the afternoon we went to the Monastary of Santa Catalina and Museum of Popular Art then headed to the bank and picked up our laundry ($10 – a bit expensive but this is a touristy town).
The next day we spent breakfast talking with a woman and her daughter from Isreal before walking to the Inca ruin near our hostel called Sacsayhuaman. The tourists pronounce this ruin, ¨Sexy Woman¨. It only took about 15 minutes to walk to. We love exploring places and spent about 4 hours there wandering around and even going into some caves. The most striking thing that is left of Sacsayhuaman is a 3-tiered zig zag fortification. Some of the stones weigh 200 to 300 tons. The story is that the Incas envisioned Cuzco in the shape of a puma with Sacsayhuman as the head and the 22 zig zag walls are the teeth.
Here is a picture of Sacsayhuman (the people in the photo give a good indication of the size of these zig zag teeth):
There were many other interesting features about this site including thrones carved into the mountain side opposite the stone zig zag walls. And of course there were lots of llamas and woman in their traditional clothes selling hand made items. Here is a picture in which it looks like the llama is about to kiss one of the women (or bite her ear off):
This is a picture of Mike and I at the top of the Sacsayhuman ruin. We like this photo because in the background you can see a part of Cuzco that is built into the hillside.
On our walk back to the hostel we stopped and took this photo of the town with this beautiful snow-covered mountain in the background.
On May 13th, we again decided to do nothing and just hang out (although we had errands to take care of). Previously we asked our friend, Mike, to FedEx our Advanced PADI Scuba Diving cards to us in Cuzco because we would need them in the upcoming weeks. Well, today we realized they were not going to arrive in Cuzco before we left. So, one of our errands involved Mike calling a hotel in the city of Iquitos, Peru, and after making a reservation there, explaining to them that our hostel in Cuzco would be forwarding a letter to us there in Iquitos. He asked for a name that the letter could be addressed to as well as the address and then asked about getting an airport pickup. He did all of this in Spanish! We split up in the afternoon and I walked around Cuzco a bit more and went into one of the churches in the main square. At night we went to a vegetarian place we really like and on the way I bought some finger puppets from a girl who said Mike looked like Santa Claus. Mike replied that Santa Claus has a white beard. To this she replied, ¨You will have a white beard next year¨. Ha! We both got a good laugh out of this. We went to bed early since the next day we would be taking an all day tour of the Sacred Valley.
Tags: Category #28: Peru