It was 10 am and time to hit the streets. The Tucan group whom I had travelled with through Ecuador arrive in Cusco today. Having dropped off a note to their hotel, armed with the Lonely Planet’s Cusco suggested 4 km walking tour, I decided to follow it as long as I was back at 1 pm at the hotel for the afternoon city tour pick up. They said about 3 hours with time to stop for juice, coffee and shopping.
So later on I will label the photos but this is what I saw:
From Plaza de Armas, headed south west and pass Plaza Regocjo and spotted the Choco museum on the corner for a visit on my later return, diagonally crossing Plaza San Francisco and was glad that I was armed with my long 200 mm lens to capture some street scenes, through the colonial archway of Santa Clara and by the church of the same name. Then into the bustling Mercado San Pedro with the different style of dress (uniform) that the stall holders wore. Camera resting on one elbow so excuse the blurred and more sloppy (not level) photos but at least you can get a taste of the atmosphere, I wandered through the narrow alleyways.
Outside and down Calle Nueva with the western style small commercial small stores selling everything imaginable. Back onto Avenida El Sol, one of the main streets, passing the Palacio de Justicda (white wedding cake building) and at the back were the 2 lawn mowing llamas.
I had been through Loreta several times before but this is a pedestrian only cobbled walkway with Inca walls on both sides. Some of my photos I want NO people in them and with others people in them. This one I wanted just a few people to give you scale.
Back to the Plaza de Armas and right into the narrow Hatunrumiyoc to try and find the equally as famous as Marcu Piccu, the 12 sided stone. Well I tell a lie, I never knew about this 12 sided stone till I read about it and how other people also told me about it. Sure enough, crowded around this stone were people getting their photo taken so I had to. Near by were stones with 10 and 11 sides. What amazed me was that the Incas cut their large stone so precisely that no mortar (cement) was needed.
Up the steep but short hill to Plaza San Blas and the fountain at the rear of the square. This area is Cusco bohemian or craftspeople quarter and I noticed this by the type of stalls set up.
Time I had so decided to head along the long and gentle upwards climbing Tandapata with the Inca irrigation channels running down more of the narrow cobbled stone roads or better still alleyways just wide enough for a single car. Without realising it, I was up at the white statue of Christ, next to Sacsaywaman, which I could see from afar down below. Was I mad walking all the up here? Yes, on reflection! I stopped several times on the last final section to catch my breath but I felt fine considering the high altitude that I was at. Perhaps it was all that coca tea drunk back at the hotel?
Now 12.15 pm and only 20 minutes later I was back down at Plaza de Armas again and caught the tail end of the performance in front of the cathedral by these people with strange masks on.
Videos to be uploaded later.
Bruce’s Lonely Planet Walking Tour
Saturday, January 07, 2012