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Written by sophie et jeremy   
Monday, 21 May 2018

Former Inca capital founded in 1100 AD by Manco Capac, son of the sun, and Mama Ocllo, daughter of the moon, Cuzco is a city full of contrasts. One can find there as many pre-columbian temples as spanish churches and convents (most of them built on inca basements). Incas were unequally talented stone cutters.

pano_cuzco pano_cuzco

So we take the Interoceanica again, rapidly changing climate. From the humid heat of the jungle in the morning, we have lunch at 4700m asl at a misty pass, surrounded by glaciers. We get the chance to taste an alpaca skewer and see again local ladies wearing their very colorful costumes and hats. The road then goes down in a valley sculpted by old inca terraces.

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traditional costume 1 traditional costume 1 traditional costume 2 traditional costume 2

interoceanica 3 interoceanica 3

In Cuzco, we hang around in the historic city center, with its small white houses with tiny balconies. Even if the architectural unity has been successfully preserved, the McDO next to the Basilica is a bit surprising... The city is truly touristic, and we can hear many languages all around us on the central square. It’s of course also full of restaurants, handicraft sellers and touts. There are alpacas at every street corner, with their owner ready to let you take a photo for a few soles.

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We spend there a nice moment, and we meet again our friends from Marseille for the third time of the trip, after Chile and Bolivia. We celebrate the meeting with our last bottle of chilean wine, and a home made pizza. Almost as good as Sophie’s birthday lunch in a local restaurant : salad with maracuja vinegar, alpaca loin, maracuja mousse and chocolate cake. Delicious.

Just outside of the city are some well preserved ruins, such as Sacsayhuaman (say “sexy woman”) an old inca fortress shaped like a puma head. The most impressive parts are the huge walls build in zig-zig to figure the teeth. Each stone of these walls has been cut to join as much as possible all the other neighboring stones. But what we can see in Cuzco is little compared to the nearby Sacred Valley.

Sacsayhuaman 1 Sacsayhuaman 1 Sacsayhuaman 2 Sacsayhuaman 2

tambomachay tambomachay


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