Sunday, November 20, 2011

November 20, 2011 Hiking, Inca Ruins, enjoying the good life

We have enjoyed another full week in Cusco. We have a new friend, Jean-Jacques who owns the Spanish school that we are going to - Centro Tinku, and he and his dog love to walk on Sundays so we have joined him for two Sundays. In less than 15 minutes we are outside the city in amazing mountains with lush scenery.
Plaza de Armas - view from above the city,
the start of our walk last Sunday.

In this blog I am including more information on the pictures to help explain our time here.  We started last week with a city tour of all the major ruins within the Cusco area. Though we have seen some before, I do not tire of them, or the descriptions by the guides. We do some tours in Spanish and some in English and we can usually understand either! I have been reading two books simultaneously while here that have much history and modern explanations of what is going on in the area - one is "Exploring Cusco" by Peter Frost and another is a new book out this year entitled "Turn Right at Machu Piccu" and is a story of present day explorers walking the same path as Hiram Bingham who "discovered"....really...."rediscovered" Machu Piccu in the sacred valley in the 1911.

Always fun to be joined by dogs on our walk.
Our new friend Jean-Jacques has taken us to
 places we would never find on our own,
 along with his faithful companion Corey.
The other dog is Icarus - friend to Thelma.

A niche in Qorikancha - always made in this
shape to be earthquake proof. Again, notice
the stones with no mortar between them.
This site is right in the middle of the city and
is now part of a big church and convent
(minus all the gold that was taken by the Spainards)

Sacsaywaman - some of the most
incredible ruins - also right above the
city.  Some of these ruins we saw
6 years ago but always intriguing.

One of the larger stones - this gives an
idea of their size.

The beautiful colors used
for the knitting and weaving of sheep,
and alpaca yarns

Alpaca factory - shopping trips are
always included in tours.

Dinner with our friend Ru who is
from London - we meet him
at the school in Montanita, Ecuador.
Thanks to facebook - we have stayed
in touch. You might remember him
from the pictures of the mud trip - he was
our buddy there!
One of the fun things about this South American trip has been the people we met along the way in Ecuador and here in Peru and the fact that we can stay connected. Sometimes they are a few weeks ahead of us on a similar path (Fernanda from Brazil) and can advise us of hotels and sights to see; and this week we had the chance to see in person one of our friends from Ecuador. Skype allows us to talk every week with our "family" in Cuenca and some of you. I think I would feel very disconnected without technology. So, though I lived without it for many years of my life, I am very grateful for the connections it allows today.

Very old bags - used by men to hold their
coca leaves. Each is a gift from a woman - first
their mothers, then their girlfriends and
then their wives.

Typical courtyard of the colonial
houses of Cusco

Icarus, dog friend of Thelma who owns
a store with beautiful fabric items. Here he
is showing us his piece of fabric.

 Dogs are in our lives, which makes Richard especially happy. We have a dog "Danke" in our house who visits us often during the day. She has her spot on our couch.

Yesterday's very long day tour of the Sacred Valley took us to Pisac, Urubamba, Ollantaytambo and Chinchero. Now I think we have seen all the ruins that are on the "tourist" list and any more will be ones that we stumble upon during our weekend walks with Jean-Jacques.
Pisac - in the Sacred Valley. Again many levels
of crop planting built into the mountains. We hiked
a precarious walk up and around with a large group.

Again - amazing shapes to be seen from above at Pisac. 
Ollantaytambo - large site in the Sacred Valley built
above the town. The size of the people walking up will
give you perspective of this amazing site.

View of Ollantaytambo from above
 the ruins

Another example of these large stones - here you
can see some placed in between - again to
avoid earthquake destruction. It is possible
that these were pre-Incan.

Today's walk started at this cemetary -
working up rather than taking up
too much space underground.

One of many photos of the countryside

Corey loves the water and the mud.

A ruin in the middle of our walk.

This window/door caught my eye.

We say goodbye again this week, a special week for most of our "peeps" as it is Thanksgiving. It is always a good time to remember our family and friends and we are so thankful to have you all in our lives. We shall miss seeing you and will celebrate in some special way here, because it is also a big day for birthday of the year of medicare! Happy Thanksgiving to ALL with love from Susanita and Ricardo.


  1. Another great post, Susan! I'm really enjoying your continuing adventures!
    Ana (in Cuenca)

  2. Wow...what an adventure and what fascinating photos...especially the one of Ollantaytambo, looks gigantic! And how on earth do you say it?? Also, great photos of 'water dogs'; no doubt more fun for a dog than for humans. Muchas gracias for sending!--Bob