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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

BACK TO CUSCO

Cuzco (flag to left, sometimes spelled Cuzco, but officially should be Qosqo) was the Inca capitol and is at 11,000 feet, more than twice the elevation of Denver.  You don't feel normal at this height.  Of course, this is nothing compared to La Rinconada (Peru) at 16,728 feet, Wenzhuan (China/Tibet) at 16,467 and Colquechaca (Bolivia) 15,393 ft.  Depending on what source you cite, the population could be less than 400,000 or more than 500,000.

Francisco Pizzaro (supposedly his skull) of Spain arrived in 1534 and the Spanish pretty much eliminated much of the culture and, by tranferring smallpox, much of the population.  There was only a 6 moment magnitude earthquake in 1950, which destroyed half of the buildings in town.  Interestingly enough, what remained of the Inca architecture largely survived.


Today we visited a typical "Inca' home, and the only interesting scene worthy of a photo was a swarm of guinea pigs.  I guess I should add that these are barbequed.

My greatest physical feat of the entire tour was climbing up an Inca fortress.










Well, maybe this was not quite all that remarkable, as a lady with the flu also made it.  Below, Taramati and Rehka also at the top.  Walking down was a lot more stressful for the steps were not consistent.







A final look at Sacred Valley.


This is All Saints Day in Peru, a holiday when people visit their ancestral graves and, frankly, get drunk:


Return for a Peruvian dinner and dance.

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