Cusco

May 8, 2014 § 1 Comment

Annnnnnnnnnnd, Cusco, check! : )

To sum it up, to me, this valley town is all about lots of steps:

CuscoStairsUp

Amazing food nooks:

CuscoYaldeaRestaurant

In which you eat 5-star food for .99 cent menu prices:

Beautiful old doors:

Llamas in the street:

CuscoLlama

And colorful fabrics:

CuscoWomen

Cusco is definitely one-of-a-kind. The layout kind of reminds me of Sarajevo, but the vibe is somewhere between Mostar and Belgrade and little, southern Spanish towns.

The hostel that I am staying at is part of La Boheme, Cusco’s best creperie:

Bread-and-marmelade breakfasts have been replaced with crepes-and-marmelade with a cup of coffee, and early evenings are filled with glasses (or, cute terracotta vases) of wine and pick-up sticks:

CuscoLaBohemePickUpSticks

My days tend to revolve around food. After breakfast, it’s time to head over to San Pedro Market,

MercadoSanPedro1

which consists of hundreds of stalls boasting of fresh juices, soups, snacks, and all of the veggies and fruits and meats and breads and cheeses that your heart might desire (and more):

And then hit up Pantastico, the best bakery in the world. And after that, it’s usually time for a hike out of town.

CuscoMoonTempleHike

My favorite day hike is toward the Temple of the Moon:

CuscoHike1

, which has a little crevice that you can wiggle in through and hosts an old sacrificial table:

CuscoMoonTemple

Around the temple, there are hundreds of makeshift paths around an infinite countryside that let you walk for hours without seeing anyone:

CuscoHikeOutBack

Just isolated ruins:

CuscoHike

And an occassional llama:

CuscoHikeOutBackLlama

And lots of cacti:

CuscoHikeOutBackCacti

And an occassional purple thistle:

CuscoHikeOutBackThistle

But, mostly, it’s just emptiness and green grandeur all around:

And, along the same path, there is a wheat field to cross:

CuscoWheatField

which brings you to the giant statue of Cristo Blanco that overlooks the entire city:

CuscoJesusBlanco

Other than that, I spend my days admiring the composition of electricity lines and roof angles:

Befriending cats out of my window:

CuscoCat

Haggling at the San Blas artisan market:

CuscoMercadoSanBlas

Occasionally managing to resist signs in front of restaurants:

CuscoGuineaPig

Stumbling down little alleys:

And wandering around after the sun has gone down, which gives the town a completely different feel:

CuscoNightfall

The houses scattered on mountains all around seem like stars:

CuscoNighttimeStars

And the plaza gains a romantic, warm glow:

And then there’s the healing circles and glorious massages and meditation rounds at The Healing House. And the hopping nighttime nooks, with all of their live music and pisco sour glory, but maybe those pictures are better left unposted ; )

And now, it’s time to throw lots of fruits and queque‘s into a backpack and take one last hot bath before getting up at 3:30 AM to depart on a 5-day trek to Machu Picchu via the Salkantay Trail. Looking forward to a little bit of exercise to break up the 10-meals-a-day lifestyle here in Cusco.  If I don’t freeze en route, see you all in a week or so!

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