Kapoors Year 7: Europe/Ecuador/Peru travel blog

What A Delight To See The City Of Cusco Emerge Out Of...

The Airport Sits At One End Of The Valley, Flights Are Limited...

Here Is The View From Our Hotel Window, And No, That's Not...

First Order Of Business Upon Arrival At 3,400m (11,400ft) - A Cup...

Our Hotel Was Located On Pretty Garcilaso Street, Just Far Enough Away...

Here's Our First Glimpse Of The Cathedral On The Central Square

And Just To The Right, A Closer Look At The Statues Of...

The Plaza De Armas Is Surrounded By Colonial Era Buildings, Many With...

Our First Lunch In Peru Included This Layered 'Salad' Known As 'Causita...

We Spent The Afternoon Arranging Train Tickets To Machu Picchu And Our...

After A Fitful Night's Sleep Due To The Altitude, We Ventured Out...

Our Friend Celia From Buenos Aires Joined Us In Cusco And We...

We Were All Fascinated By A Sunday Food Market In Nearby Plaza...

We Had Already Eaten Lunch, But Vowed To Return The Following Sunday...

After Heaps Of Fried Pork And Trout, This Vegetarian Dish Was The...

We'd Seen All Manner Of Hats In Ecuador, But This Lovely Lady...

We Passed Through The Arco Santa Clara And On To The Old...

The Outer Stalls Were Filled With Touristy Kitsch, You Name It, They...

But I Couldn't Take My Eyes Off This Little Sweater With A...

After Feasting Our Eyes, We Stopped At One Of The Literally Dozens...

And Then We Just Wandered Here And There, Rushing Past The Fresh...

Hard To Tell I Like Elderly Women Right? This Lady Was Selling...

And Then We Came Upon This Delightful Vendor Selling Peanuts And Spices

My First Photos Of Her Were Out Of Focus, But I Returned...

Another Favourite Shot, This Woman Is Almost Lost In A Sea Of...

And Then To The Other End Of The Spectrum, These Two Young...

We Continued To Follow The Walking Tour In Our Guide Books, Marvelling...

Around Many Corners We'd Find Village Women Charging Money For Photos Of...

We Carried On Up The Steep Streets Leading From The Plaza De...

Once Again I Was The Self-Appointed Navigator, Checking The Guide Book Map...

But Every Now And Then I Just Had To Take Photos Of...

These Knitted Masks Were Particularly Intriguing, They Are Worn By Dancers During...

The Walking Route Took Us Past Some Amazing Inca Constructions, Only The...

This Stone Is A Very Popular Attraction, Note That It Has 12...

We Kept Climbing Higher And Higher, Appreciating The Steps Along The Slippery...

At Last We Reached Our Destination, Plaza San Blas, High Above Central...

We'd Watched The Dark Clouds Gathering, Growing Darker And Darker Every Minute

We Knew We Could Retreat Into A Restaurant If We Needed To,...

Before Leaving San Blas We Stopped To Admire A Woman Weaving A...

I'd Read That The Marcelo Batata Restaurant Had Great Views From Its...

And We Weren't At All Disappointed, Here's A Shot Of The Building...

From Our Vantage Point We Watched The Storm Sweep Past And A...

And Then I Turned My Lens On These Cute Little Ceramic Bulls,...

We Had A Great Chat With This Couple From Greece, Swapping Travelling...

But As Soon As The Sun Set, The Temperature Dropped Dramatically And...

The Plaza De Armas Was Magical In The Early Evening Light

And So Was The Fountain In The Centre Of The Square, Goodnight...


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BACKGROUND

Excerpts from the Lonely Planet – Peru:

Legend tells that in the 12th century, the sun god Inti looked down on the earth and decided that the people needed organizing, so he created the first Inca, Manco Cápac, and his sister-wife, Mama Ocllo. They came to life on Isla del Sol (Sun Island), way over in Lake Titicaca, with a long walk ahead of them. Inti gave Manco Cápac a golden rod and told him to settle in the spot where he could plunge it into the ground until it disappeared: this would be the navel of the earth (qosq’o in the Quechua language).

And so Cuzco got its name. Locals can point out the place where the rod allegedly went in – it’s on a hill overlooking the bus terminal.

When Manco discovered the place, he quickly subdued the natives and founded the city that was to become the center of one of the Americas’ greatest empires. And people have been here ever since: Cuzco is the oldest continuously inhabited city in South America, and the continent’s undisputed archaeological capital.

KAPOORS ON THE ROAD

Cusco, for some reason, has been one of those cities that I have always wanted to see for myself. At times I’ve often wondered why it’s taken me so long to get there. My imagination was always tweaked by the thought of a city where the streets rise steeply in all directions from the central plaza, and where a visitor must spend some time acclimatizing before it’s possible to explore the upper regions.

However, after spending five weeks in Quito, Ecuador at 2,850m (9,405ft) and finding I was still struggling to breathe in the thin air, I was more than a little concerned about how I would handle Cusco at 3,400m (11,200ft). For that reason, we had booked a hotel in the city for three nights before we set off to explore Machu Picchu.

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