Monday, 21 May 2012
The centre of the (Incan) world
It felt really odd to be finally in Cusco it was the one place we knew we had to be at a fixed time as we had booked the Inca trail before we left. It also meant we only had two months left. Cusco is a beautiful city with a large squares surrounded by quaint colonial buildings. One our first day we took a free walking tour of the city led by a cool local guide. It was not however your typical historical tour which was a bit of a shame as we would have liked to hear a bit about the history but we still it was good to get a better idea of the city. The best and strangest part of the tour was when we were taken into an archaeological site in the middle of the city. While the site itself was not that memorable the vicunas certainly were. They are similar to lamas but smaller and more elegant looking. These ones however may have taken a disliking to our group, first they spat at us then one kicked one of the girls on the group and finally when we decided it would be better to leave they kind of chased us out rearing up on their hind legs when they got close.
That night we decided to check out one of the places that our guide had recommended. It was a bar called the 7angles which had a different live music act each night. When we got there was a Janis Joplin cover act, although she did other acts songs as well and to be honest was equally bad at all of them. This did not however stop us from having a great night and we even stopped off at a club on the way home to dance surprisingly soberly to some cheesy tunes.
While in Cusco one of our plans was to visit the Incan ruin Saqsaywaman or sexy woman as all the gringos called it. On our first attempt we got distracted by an incredibly local dance competition. Different groups took it in turns to put on a show in beautiful local costumes. The main themes of the dances were either two groups throwing stones then whipping each other or groups of women whipping men who are trying to pick them up. The best groups managed to combine both themes into one big dance routine.
Our second attempt to see Saqsaywaman we were joined by Sarah the nice English girl we had met in Ecuador. Although once we actually got to the ruins we were put off by the pricey entrance fee. As we had to inca trail the next day we thought we would soon have our fill of inca ruins.