It’s finally happened. I’ve lost my phone. However, today we also witnessed a fatal accident, so I’m not going to complain. And I just want to clarify, these incidents could have happened anywhere in the world. The loss of phone was completely my own lazy fault and the death was a complete accident.
But first of all… I’m in the cute city of Cusco. I’m actually surprised when I googled the definition of cute. But my definition of cute is: small, happy and loveable. I mean the people of Cusco are cute, the roads are cute, the cars are cute and the air is cute (considering we’re at an altitude of 3400m above sea level).
Over the two days we’ve spent in Cusco, we’ve spent it checking out the Inca towns scattered around the city. As soon as we get to our Hotel Yucay, Susan Tito, (who I think is the owner of the place) helps us out so much! The whole town of Cusco is fuelled by it’s tourism so she knows exactly what we’re here for and gets straight to the point. But at the same time she genuinely wants to help us, making calls for us, walking us to the police station, letting us into her life and her family stories..
For our first day she organises a tour through the Sacred Valley of the Incas. We get on a early bus and head towards the first major stop, Pisac Inca Ruins and get our first glimpse of the historical sites constructed in the 15th century. Driving into the town, we wind through the mountains, avoiding the boulders that have fallen from above onto the road and drive to the entrance gates of Pisac.
We get a bit of a tour through the village, learning about their harvesting lifestyle, their rock formations and noting the difference between their urban sectors vs their farming sections. We also learn that in the past there were a total of 14 Inca Kings. We get about half an hour of free time to stroll through their semi-constructed town…
While we’re climbing to the heights of the urban sector I glance back towards the entrance gate and the pathway between the urban and farming sector, and notice two giant rocks rolling down the hill leaving behind a trail of dirt. I don’t think too much of it until I hear screams and wails and watch a crowd gather around the landing point of the rocks. When people begin to notice what has happened the site is cleared as people learn a 10-year-old girl has died from the impact of the falling rocks.
Such an unfortunate unavoidable accident. A family who arrives in Cusco on a holiday, leaves with such misfortune. I send my thoughts and prayers to the family and hope greater fortune comes their way. Pray for the family.
We make a few more smaller stops in country towns where we get a chance to visit the markets, before we arrive to another town for a buffet lunch.
The next major stop after lunch is at the Temple of Ollantaytambo. In my opinion, this town appeared more practical with greater in-built consideration towards its liveable properties. It’s main habitants were those under the rule of Manco Inca who was a leader in the resistance against the conquistadors. We were shown the Incan storehouses on the hill opposite us which had natural refrigeration, the giant rocks which were cleverly transported to create sturdy walls, an apparent image of an Incan God in the stone on the opposite mountain – believed to guard the habitants, and of course their terraces used for farming.
(face of the Incan God on the left of the mountain, storehouses on the bottom right)
(They definitely knew where to build with a good view, right?)
Our final stop for the day was in a village called Chinchero as the sun was setting. The main attraction was the village church, covered in paintings and full of statues. Of course farming techniques were brought up as the guide walked us to the top of the town and the location of the Church. We learnt that Peru has over 3000 types of potatoes (a fact that they seemed to be quite proud of).
On the drive back to the town of Cusco, I drift off to sleep, conscious that I should move my phone from my loose jacket pocket to my jeans, but too tired to do so. Leaving the tour bus once we arrive in Cusco, I realise my phone has fallen out of my pocket and is lost forever. (I do go to some effort to recover it, make phone calls, chase up the driver and tour guide and finally give up and make a police report on it.)
On the second day of our journey through the Incan towns we visit smaller sites closer to the main town of Cusco. We start at a museum in the centre of the town and then stop at Q’enqo, where they made sacrifices to the Gods (mostly llamas or animals and rarely people); Pucuapucar, the remains of a military base; Tambomachay, consisting mostly of canals and small waterfalls and finally the principal location used as a fort and guard against the conquistadors, a place called Sacsayhuaman, (aka Sexywoman) which we had heard reference to over the past two days.
(The view from Sacsayhuaman overlooking Cusco)