Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Day 2 - Cuzco and Beyond

Well, the best day thus far (hah)... day 2.

To see the pictures larger just click em. 

We started the day off meeting our tour guide Washington.  What an traditional Peruvian name.  He is totally cool, we shared stories and jokes the entire trip.  We had some laughs and he claimed that he would have to charge us per fact.  In return papa said that he could break even by telling a story of his... this was an ongoing joke until papa monopolized the storytelling aspect of the joke... not saying he ruined it, but he definitely out-storied the storyteller.
Washington went to school to study tourism, and let me tell you, he knew his stuff!  He was born and raised in Peru, but he could spell a 25 letter word perfectly in English... smart mofo.  He would get really passionate and his voice would go up an octave when he started talking about the history of his heritage.  I learned more than I can think today and I wish i could tell all the stories.  Unfortunately, my hands would cramp up and most likely part from my arms.
We first when to Qoricancha or Templo del Sol (Temple of the Sun). AGAIN, I can't really go into much detail about the place because of the abundance of history that evolved there but in short, it was stunning.  The stonework the Incas did over 5 centuries ago is astounding!!! The had no need for mordar because they were so god damn good with this trade.  The stones were so smooth and perfectly set, just incredible.

Male and Female Stones to fit together.

This is from inside, looking at the front landscape.

Me in front of Qoricancha
Next, we took a tour inside the Cathedral in Plaza del Armas, which I posted a picture of yesterday.  We were not allowed to take pictures or video inside. This place was astounding... 80 foot dome ceilings, gold plated EVERYTHING, shrines for each different saint.  This was built over 5 centuries ago and took 94 years to build.  Just imagine.... 
Next was a short drive right outside Cuzco to see an ancient fortress called Sacsayhuaman (people tell americans to called it Sexy Woman because nobody can seem to pronounce it correctly.  Except Washington told me that my pronunciation was flawless... I am so proud. 
Heaviest rock in the whole ruin.  Estimated almost 150 Tons, how they got it there, beats me and apparently the rest of the world
We hiked up the ruin and learned it was a fortress and actually was very intelligently thought out.  The rocks are zig-zags in three tiers, this way if anyone tried to attack, it would expose their flanks and Incas would easily be victorious.  The fortress is sandwiched between a cliff and the zig-zag rock faces.  The cliff overlooks the city.
Overlooking all of Cuzco, it was rainy and overcast.
Note - The spaniards (before they came and raped, killed, and tortured all the Incas) came in from the west hills.  As they came in, they looked upon a stunning city which was shaped like a dog (later learned its actually shaped like a Puma and "Sexy Womanis the head).  This all makes sense now after looking at the zig-zag walls that supposedly form the teeth of the Puma.  Also, on the far left you can see what they call the other "cathedral," which is actually the soccer stadium.

We then went to a place called Tambomachay or Los Banos del Inca.  This fountain has three stone platforms for a fountain which is STILL running using an extremely sophisticated system of aqueducts and canals in the small complex of terraces.  This place even has a pool! haha! This was not for baths, but for ceremonies and worship for high priests and nobility only. 
Incas used gravity and physics to design this fountain.  The water source is actually a river that is behind me and it goes through a roller coaster of inclines and declines before its ultimate rest in the pool. (to the left of papa and Wash).
Lastly, we went to Q'enko, a shrine carved into natural rock formations.  

Me outside the Shrine
So, back in the day Incas used to sacrifice women, children and animals at this shrine.  It is believed that they sacrificed the famous Juanita at this site!!!
I won't go into detail about her, but here's a link about Juanita

Me sacrificing women and children with Washington watching.
Well today was awesome, hope the post wasn't too long... I know Caitlin will read it in less than a second anyway.  Love you all!
Adam "Human GPS" Rappin


  1. It looks like an AMAZING place!!!!! And Washington sounds awesome! It's always really fun to have a great tour guide, I had some bad ones in Europe so I slept, HAHA! So you got to take a bath in the pool since your nobility, right?! Thanks for these posts, I look forward to the next one! Stay safe, say hi to Papa for me.. Love you!

  2. HaaHa so surprised to hear Papa 'out-storied' Washington...really not..Papa has always had the best, and THE MOST stories of anyone I know.
    Wow Adam, you are painting an amazing picture of Peru so far-so jealous..Be safe..I love you both.