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Legacy of the Incas

Machu Picchu to Cusco

sunny 65 °F

After a wonderful morning in town, we boarded the train to head back up the Sacred Valley and back to Cusco, where we would spend the night at 11,000 feet.


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Legacy of the Incas

Machu Picchu

overcast 65 °F

After lunch in the village, we boarded the buses that take you to the entrance of the ruins. We spent the next two hours viewing one of the most amazing sites in the world.

Posted by rpickett 14:30 Archived in Peru Tagged machu picchu Comments (0)

Legacy of the Incas

Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu Pueblo

overcast 60 °F

This morning we headed down the Sacred Valley to a lower elevation to the town of Machu Picchu Pueblo, the gateway to Macchu Picchu. It's elevation is only about 8500 Feet.

First we stopped at the town of Ollantaytambo to visit the village and view its ancient Inca Ruins. Ollantaytambo was the royal estate of Emperor Pachacuti who conquered the region, built the town and a ceremonial center. At the time of the Spanish conquest of Peru it served as a stronghold for Manco Inca Yupanqui, leader of the Inca resistance. Nowadays it is an important tourist attraction on account of its Inca buildings and as one of the most common starting points for the four-day, three-night hike known as the Inca Trail.
In addition to the ruins, we were able to visit a local home complete with its supply of Guinea Pigs.

After the ruin visit, we boarded the train, that would take us to the jump off point for Machu Picchu.

Posted by rpickett 14:09 Archived in Peru Tagged valley sacred machu picchu pueblo Comments (0)

Legacy of the Incas

Cusco, Pisac

overcast 61 °F

This morning we left Lima and flew to Cusco, at an elevation of 11,000 feet. As we entered the Andes, our first essential business was to experience a Mother Earth Ceremony or El Pago a la Terra. The ceremony was conducted by a local Shaman, who as an Inca Princess, having carried down this ceremony from her ancestors. The ceremony thanks Mother Earth and asks for good health and safe travels. After the ceremony we were treated to lunch.

We next stopped at Puca Pucara. Although there is not as much known about Puka Pukara as a lot of other Incan ruins, there is a theory that this site was probably constructed during the reign of Pachacutec. Since he was the ninth ruler of the empire, it can be said that Puka Pukara was one of the later constructions. The stones used to build most of the walls are very irregularly shaped, stacked together in kind of a here-and-there manner to create walls that are functional, but lacking very much beauty as far as architecture goes (this is in contrast to a lot of other sites in the area). Because of this, it is possible that the buildings and walls were built in somewhat of a rush because the military headquarters that Puka Pukara became was thought to be needed very quickly. When it was first built, the differently sized and shaped stones that now appear grey may have actually been a red color (hence its name, red fortress) due to all the iron in the limestone used in the walls.

It was then on to a very quaint village of Pisac, where there were a number of artisans including a wonderful silver shop.

We ended our day with dinner and a Peruvian Paso Horse Show.

Posted by rpickett 13:36 Archived in Peru Tagged cusco pisac Comments (1)

Legacy of the Incas


overcast 80 °F

Our tour actually started today, and our Tour Guide Mauricio lead us on a complete city tour. Our first stop was a local Peruvian market where we could see some of the local fruits and veggies.
We then drove back into town, and started our walking tour to the 17th Century San Francisco Monastery, and the government palace.
The San Francisco Monastery was consecrated in 1673 and completed in 1774. Though it survived several earthquakes intact in 1687 and 1746, it suffered extensive damage in an earthquake in 1970. The church is noted for its architecture, a high example of Spanish Baroque. Its granite carved portal would later influence those on other churches, including the Church of Merced. The vaults of the central and two side naves are painted in mudejar style: a mix of Moorish and Spanish designs. The head altar is fully carved out of wood. The corridors of the main cloister are inlaid with Sevillian glazed tiles dating from the 1620s. The complex is made of the temple, the convent and two other churches, 'La Soledad' and 'El Milagro'. No photos are permitted inside the Monastery.

Our dinner this evening was at the private home Casa Garcia Alvarado. At the beginning of the twentieth century, Lima’s upper class began to move their homes away from downtown Lima to Miraflores which was one of the first residential districts to be established at that time. The architecture of these homes was typical of resort homes of that period. They were made of “quincha” (adobe), decorated with wood on the façade, and contained large courtyards inside. On Avenida Larco in front of Miraflores Central Park, located a few metres from the Municipality, is the old but impressive house of the Castro Iglesias-Thorndike family which was constructed in 1912 by the Architect Rozzaga. The Castro Iglesias family goes way back to Peru's Colonial period, when its forerunners earned the titles, Count of Lurigancho and Marques of Otero, for services rendered to the Spanish Crown. Mrs. Thorndike was the daughter of a very distinguished Chilean lady and an American engineer who came to Peru with Henry Meiggs to construct railway bridges in the heights of the Andean mountains.

Posted by rpickett 13:11 Archived in Peru Tagged lima Comments (1)

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