Hiked up to Sacsayhuaman, the ancient Inca/Inka Fortress, high above Cusco Centro. Compared to Machu Pichu it is quite unassuming; far fewer buildings and less architectural complexity & detail; it was only a fortress, not an inhabited city. The Inka were actually the ruling members of the Quechua peoples. The whole civilization has taken on the name of this ruling class.
The views of Cusco lying in the valley below were impressive. And watching the workmen line a mountain stream bed with individually chiseled boulders to form Inca-like walls was interesting; though they, unlike the Incas, were using mortar to solidify the structure.
During our stay in Cusco we have hoteled in the San Blas neighborhood; which is on the hillsides northeast of city center. Hence there's a fair bit of up & down to go anywhere. Some walkways are pedestrian only, while others are a one foot wide ledge at the base of a bulding wall along the narrow hilly streets used by trucks, buses, taxis & cars. Rule # 1 - don't fall off your alloted one foot wide foot space.
Our visit in Cusco comes to a close as the Audubon group from Austin arrives to Cusco.
Some have visited Lima and Machu Pichu before arriving to Cusco. We are all staying at the Amaru Colonial II Hotel in the San Blas neighborhood before leaving on the birding tour. We'll begin in the mountains southeast of Cusco and proceed northeasterly and downward to the Amazon River tributary town of Puerto Maldonado; starting at 12,000 feet above sea level and finishing at 600 fasl.
Ciao for now