We spent Our final day in Cusco looking around on foot. First stop was Sacsayhuaman.. The main inca ruin in cusco. Most folks remember it by its english synonym 'sexy woman' it was a short,30 min walk up the steep street to the site
 
 
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The site is amazing..huge stones, fine workmansip.. Like these walls lined up to suggest the teeth
Of a puma… Some of these stones weighed upward of 300 tons !
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There were great views of the city from the ruin.. And visa versa
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Unlike the other inca ruins weve visited …this one was crawling with people running around and having fun.. There were a ton of kids.. Like these sliding on the rocks
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And these taking a class picture
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And these (trying to) fly kites
 
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We had fun too !
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It was a great place to visit
We also walked up to the giant christ on the site
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Later on..we walked down for lunch at or friends the townsends favorite place to eat when they lived here
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The rest of the day was pretty lazy.. A little walking ariund town.. A nap, some book reqdung..
And then at 5:30 we got picked up for another adventure.. We headed up to the cusco planetarium for an amazibg origram ob the siuthern skies. Our host, Maria was. Wonderful and enthusiastic teacher.
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We learned about the southern constellations.. Including the inca ones. They use the drk areas of
The milky wy to define constelations jas well as stars
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And we looked through a 10 inc telescope at the moon, saturn, .. We saw the southern cross.. It was amazing.
We really recommend anyone visting cusco tqke the time to visit the cusco planetarium !
 

Ok.. In going to try and post this..bandwidth has made it tough to blog

 

We gave really enjoyed our stay in cusco.. Tomorrow back to Lima

Nite all, nite sam

-me

 

This city is really growing onme. When we first arrived i didnt knwow hat to make of the traffic and noise. Its a big city with lots of cars and very small streets. As we explored more of it today i really began to see mpre of its charm. I do have to say that all the folks trying to sell you things..and all the tourist kitch stores are hard to take, the architecture and scenery make up for it.

Our first order of business today was to get out of town. After a quick breakfast that included coca jelly

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Our freind Lenin met us at the hotel at 9 am and we headed south out of town..first stop was the sweet litle town of Anduahayuillas. It has a church that has been called the 'cistine chapel of the americas'. We wernt allowed to take pictures inside, but it was incredible. Everythign was guilded… And there were soem mamazing frescos.. The church dates from the 16th century and is built on an old Inca foundation, musch of the building and artwork has been rebuilt recently

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Next stop was piklaqti, a pre inca ruin from the wari people. It dated from the 1100's.. It was huge.. And we were the only visitors there for most of our visit. The workmanship was very differnt from the incas,but amazing in its own right.

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On the way to our next stop, Tipon, Lenin stopped at his favorite bakery to get bread for us..and for his mom.. Its a really differnt sort of bread cooked in wood fired ovens and made with anise and cinnamon… It was very good

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Our final stop with Leninwas Tipon anamazing Inca structure known for its water works. The whole site was criss crossed with water channels, most of them working

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Then it was time to go back to cusco . It was time to say good bye to Lenin. Which was pretty hard to do.. In the short time we had known him we really got to be friends.. Which was amazing since my spanish is so terrible. We still managed to talk abotu everythign we saw.. And moved on to life,philosophy, politcsadn family.. The foundations for any good frinedship. Such a good guy. Someday we would liek to bring the kids back here.. If that works out, it would be great to recinnect with Lenin again!

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Next order of business was to go and was all ov our dirty clothes. We put on our last set of clean clothes, and took the restto a local laundrymat. While they were grtting de-disgusted, we went out to explore more of cusco.. It really has some nice sights..

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We loved the dog packs
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We tou red an okd convent whihc is now amuseum
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Then We walked around. Town some more

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Last stop was the museum of Pisco.. The national drink of peru. Its a distilled spirit from grapes..and very nice. There , sergio, the Piscoterra gave us a sampling of five differnt types of pisco.. From nonaromatic andaromatic grapes, blended, and incompletly fermented.. Each had its own character and taste.. The pis de resistancw as a 45% gav made fromaramotic torontala grapes. It was superb. sergio was so full of unfo.. Some of you might knowthat ive recently taken to …uh… Making … Uh spirits(moonshine) .. So the lesson in distilling was very helpful…it was great to talk to someone about heads, bodys, tales, esters, aldehydes.. And drink wonderful spirts as we did so.

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From there we went and picked upour sweet smelling laundry..

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We skyped home to talk to hannah and brit (and the dogs..who we are missing)

Dogs are not the best skypers

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Then went out to a great dinner at Casa Del heidi ..great food !

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Ok.. All for now..lets see if this will upload.

More tomorrow.

Nite all, nite sam

-me

 

 

What an amazing day! Diana and I woke at a 3:45 this morning so that we could have breakfast and be early in the line for buses up to Machu Picchu. We got there around 4:15 And already there was a line. By half hour later it was longer than I could see. Diane and I were able to get on one of the first two buses.

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That meant they were only 60 people there when they open the gate. We were able to see everything with almost no other people.

And there was Machu Picchu, looking just like it has in every picture I've ever seen in every book… But we were there.

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We spent the next two hours exploring the ruins mostly on our own. There were other people there but the place is so big we have lots of time by ourselves. If my camera is to be believed, I took 479 pictures today just on my phone. We are too tired to go through them right now. So I'm just going to post a few. I promise I'll go through them and pick some out.

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We had read several guidebooks, and had Maps, guidebooks and an audio guide with us. With all that, it is still surprising how much of the function of this amazing place is still unknown. I'd say it's is likely to have been built by aliens as some of the other things that I heard.

Seriously though… You have to be amazed by the vision, engineering capabilities and artistry. To build such an amazing place in such an inaccessible site.

One thing that did keep catching an art year was the notion that Hiram Bingham discovered Machu Picchu. As the buddy guidebooks point out, the place was never really lost. The local people knew its location and it had been in agricultural use for as long as anyone could remember. Maybe just a little bit of Cultural hegemony ?

About 8 o'clock we had seen most of the site and the park was starting to fill up. We headed up to Machu Picchu mountain and made the long hike to the top. Views were amazing. It was scary for me because we had several sheer cliffs. But diane was able to coax me up.

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Then it was a long hike down from the mountain, back out to the buses… And down back to Aguascalientes. It had been an amazing visit. It far surpassed my wildest imagination.

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Unbelievably dirty, hot, it's Wendy by the time we got back to our glass. We desperately needed a shower. First order of business though was to drop in on gringo bills, a hotel that is run by our friend Julie's and gus's mom. (And mom in law. ) Margarita. Was out of town, is there. It was great getting to meet him. We talked for a while about life, Julie outdoors. He was a great guy. He even let us take a shower there, which we desperately needed and will never forget

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We managed to get an earlier train back to Cuzco, which was great because it meant it was still light. We had a pleasant ride talk to some nice folks (Pat and Camille) and enjoyed the food drinks and entertainment on Peru rail. That is a well-run company. They even had entertainment and a fashion show !

Now were at cuzco , settling in for a next adventure. More on that tomorrow.
Must sleep now.

Night all, night Sam
–me

 

Diane and i are sitting in the styleish El Mapi bar drinking our Pisco Sours waiting for our 6p m dinner reservation.. I know.l unfashionably early.. But were waking up at 3:45 to get up to machu pichu…along with the other 2000 folks in town ..

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We left Ollanta this afternoon after a lovely , lazy morning.. Its been such a great place to hang out. We really recommend the Apu Lodge for anyone looking for a nice quiet place i n an amazing setting

We said goodbye to the view from our room and the beutiful grounds of the hotel

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We took a last look around ollanta.. Then headed to the rail station for the trip to machu pichu

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The trip on peru rail took about 2 hours.. It was through a beutiful canyon running along the ururbamba river..

We sat across from david and suzanne.. A nice couple from arizona

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I tried getting a few pics from the train.. But it was a bit hard by phone

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Here's Suzanne
 
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They served us drinks and food.. I just love perurail.. They were so helpful with ticketing and their service is amazing.. We even had table cloths

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We passed several small villages.. A woman sellign flowers and several small ruins..
 
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Then we were in Aquas Calientes.. Or Mach pichu puebla. Its hard to describe..its 100% comemrcial.. Only about tourism, tacky, cyrass.. And in its own way .. Very welcoming. Our hotel folks met our train and walked us the short way tot he hotel. Diane and i spent a few hours walking every street.. Its very much like the airports i spend time waiting in.. Lots of folks fromall over the world, waiting for soemthign, with nothing to do.. And money to spend…. Its all resturants. Discos, hostels and trinket shops.. All in brick and rebar.. I love the people watching !

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We walked up to to the edge of town to check out the thermal baths.. We didn have our suits.. So we just gawked.. Very fun
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Heres a group of kids that came on the trin before us.. 'Cannonball'. ,!
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Then .. We took one last look around before retreating to the hotel to pack.
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Ok.. Off to dinner.. Trying to be asleep by 9

As if… :-)

Machu picho tomorrow !

Nite all, nite sam

-me