Cusco is a very special city. It represents much history and also much progress. It is the gateway to many wonderful sites that we have shared with you previously. And it remains a bustling, productive city that introduces many visitors to the charms of Peru. Cusco has an elaborate and complete bus service system. It is a very large and sprawling city, but somehow folks know which buses will get them where we need to go. Luckily we were going straight up the road, and someone helped us! Hahaha.Cusco has a beautiful city center, which is called the Plaza de Armas. It is surrounded by Spanish Colonial buildings, churches and the cathedral. This plaza is the hub of tourist activity. And nearly every day there is some type of event taking place. Religious processions, protests, information parades and more will gather a crowd and a share their purpose with the bystanders. On this day we saw a parade in honor of fishermen. Here is a quick video. And a collection of photos from various other parades we happened upon.
Our visits to Cusco always found us camped at the beautiful Quinta Lala. This is a gathering place for travelers from around the world. They come here for a day, a week, a month or even to store their vehicle for long term. Our dogs love it here because of the grass and the cool weather. And as usual, they don’t notice that we are at 12,000 feet! But we feel it, even just walking around town.
This was a great place to set up our new cooking surface, the skottle. Our first skottle meal was eggs, sausage and cheese for breakfast burritos. Yummy. Nearby the camping area are some woods of pine and eucalyptus trees. There are many beautiful flowers there, too. Here are a few flower photos for you to enjoy.
A textile museum is always one of our favorite things to explore. The one in Cusco is small, but free. It includes weavers seated on the floor, demonstrating a backstrap loom. Many of their handmade products and items from villages around the area are for sale in the shop. The little museum includes a tiny exhibit of historical attire, including a fantastic traditional wedding set.
Just outside of Cusco is the interesting town of Pisac. While they have a lovely market in the center of town, Pisac is best known for the huge ruins on the edge of town. These ruins are incredibly large and well preserved. We spent a couple of hours roaming around the terraces, rooms and trails of Pisac Ruins, exploring until the sun set behind the mountain.
Another beautiful ruin located near Cusco is Tipon. This is a large area that is recognized for the elaborate water drainage and canal system. There are miles and miles of rock lined channels which divert water to various fields, terraces and levels of the area. Some of these channels are being used to water the crops and fields of farmers still today.
And while we were in Cusco, Nica began to feel a little bit ill. We found a wonderful vet (or two) who helped us with her care. Both dogs were able to see Dra. Carmen and Dr. Steve and enjoy their sincere concern and compassion.
We also had the opportunity to dog sit while we were in Cusco. Some other travelers needed to return to the USA for nearly four weeks. So in order for us to keep their two adorable dogs, and our two dogs, they rented a house for all of us. So Mike and I had a big bed, a full size kitchen, long, hot showers and a yard for the four dogs to play in. We enjoyed our dog sitting time and the dogs enjoyed playing together.
Meet Scout the wise, old collie ….. And Bandit the silly, new, street-rescue, puppy…..
The dogs spent many hours in the house and the yard playing, sleeping, arguing and barking together. Here are some of the fun photos of our little pack of dogs together.
We also took the newest puppy, Bandit, to see a vet for his routine vaccinations.
The neighborhood of our rental house included a fun street food stand made inside of a modified, hightop Volkswagen van. This VW served some delicious, greasy burgers at night. I will close this post with a little bit of laundry humor. We used a drop-off laundry service nearby the rental. We would leave a bag of dirty laundry, and pick it up the next day, clean and folded. One time I realized that one of my ugly socks was missing. So I attached a note to the lonely sock and sent it back with the next bag of laundry. I received a note back, with the two socks tied together by thread.
There is so much more to be said about Cusco than what I have included here. But I really just suggest that you should go see it for yourself. Cusco, Peru and the surrounding area is a fascinating place and worthy of your consideration as a travel destination.