Left Arequipa with some feelings of sadness, as the ambiance, people and architecture left a strong sense of affection for the place. However, that said, Cusco beckoned after a ten hour transfer leaving at 20:30 Friday night and arriving Saturday morning at 07:30. Cusco is 11000 ft. above sea level and breathing can be laboured at times, until one comes to terms with the altitude. The square at Placa d’Armas is a delightful public space, where families and tourists alike can enjoy the environment bathed in warm balmy sunshine.

Placa des Armas, Cusco

Placa des Armas, Cusco

10.08.15  Took a trip along the Urumbamba river to Ollyantaytambo where an ancient Inca stronghold existed. The terracing and water management were way ahead of their time. The site also provided a forum for study by the Inca youth on plant and soil management.

Embedded within the mountain site was also the largest Inca burial place in Peru. The site is still being excavated.

IMG_085511.08.15 08.00 am caught a mini bus up over the mountain to Ollyantambo, then a train to Agua Calientes where I was to stop in the Golden House hostel.The following day catching the shuttle up a snaking switchback up to the citadel of Machu Picchu .This involved an early start at 04:30, as the huge numbers of people/tourists wanting to do the trip necessitated a constant stream of shuttles to make the assent(7972ft.) Despite the large numbers of people, it was an experience I relished, as the enigma of the Inca race is crystallised and embedded in ones consciousness forever wrapped in the mists that shroud the mountain citadel. The Spanish never found Machu Picchu, though doubtless much to their chagrin, they knew of its existence.

Snaking up to the summit where the citadel lay at peace undiscovered for years.

Snaking up to the summit where the citadel lay at peace undiscovered for years.

The speed that the shuttles made the ascent was a little disconcerting, as just a moments inattention by the driver would result in rather a large drop!

The citadel at Machu Picchu draped in cloud.

The citadel at Machu Picchu draped in cloud.

Made it back to Cusco late evening after a two day junket, tired but having huge pleasure from the experience.

The plains of Nascadown by the west coast of Peru and 11000ft. lower in altitude would now provide some welcome relief from laboured breathing and a somewhat warmer temperature gradient.The bus trip (Cruz del Sur)on semi flat recliners with a dinner and on board toilet facilities would take fourteen hours non stop and travel through the night.

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