|Legend has it that in the 12th Century, the sun God Inti looked down on the earth and decided the people needed to be more organised so he created the first Inca, Manco Capac and his sister wife Mama Ocllo. They came to life on the Isla del Sol on Lake Titicaca. Manco Capac was given a golden rod and told to settle it in a place where he was able to plunge it into the ground until it disappeared, this place would then be the "navel of the earth"! "Quosq'o" in Quechua and so Cusco got it's name. I arrived in "the naval of the earth" on Sunday and was met at the airport by my host Dad and transferred to a lovely family home. Cusco is over 3,300 metres above sea level and so I felt the altitude for a few days (by which I mean I got headaches). The city is lovely, very touristy but lovely. Cobbled streets lined with Inca walls of exceptional craftsmanship and women and children in traditional dress leading Llama's on reins encouraging you to pay for a photo to be taken with them. It is cold in the mornings and at night but during the day (until around 4pm) the sun blazes and is scorching. Sun block very much needed as the sun is fierce at this altitude. My host family home is 30 minutes walk away from the school (uphill!) which is good practice for my proposed Lares Trek in 3 weeks time. Street sellers are every where and create a fantastic, colourful scene. Small carts sell tiny birds eggs (cooked) on street corners and women sit on stools renting out their mobile phones for local calls. Alpaca jumpers and hats are some of the favourite items streets and the more up market shops sell wonderful silver jewellery which is probably out of the price range of the Onassis family. July 28th is Independence Day in Peru so there are a lot of parades in the Plaza de Armas and we have two free days from school too. I am settling in and finding out what sort of activities I can do on the weekends and free days in this wonderful, historic city. One of my best days here so far has been a horse ride in the foothills surrounding Cusco! Magnificent views.