Cusco

Hello everyone!  I know I haven’t done a very good job keeping my blog updated, but in my defense I have been very busy.  Last week I had to register for courses for both this semester in Peru and next semester at W&L, both of which turned out great.  Then, last Thursday I flew from Lima to Cusco to begin a weekend full of adventure!

On the first day we visited a small city called Chincheros.   The altitude in Chinceros is relatively low in comparison to the city of Cusco, so the director of our program decided it would be better to stay there the first day so we could get acclimated.  We visited a small organization of women that create various products using alpaca, wool, and baby alpaca and they showed us the process they use to create these products.  Afterwards, we were given the opportunity to buy some of their products, and I bought a wonderfully soft blanket made of baby alpaca.

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We also visited some Incan ruins called Ollantaytambo.  The ruins were impressive and the views of the mountains were spectacular, but it was all merely a warm up for our trip the next day to Machu Picchu.

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The trip to Machu Picchu on Friday was the highlight of the trip.  I am lucky enough to have visited this wonder of the world once before, and the second time was just as impressive.  Pictures really do not do this place justice, but here are some of the ones I took:

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I’m particularly proud of the picture with the llama.  I think it encapsulates Machu Picchu very well.  I also got to climb Wayna Picchu, the tall mountain behind Machu Picchu, which I didn’t get to do the last time I visited.  They only allow 400 visitors a day up Wayna Picchu  in order to preserve the ruins up there.  This was my favorite part about the trip because the views were spectacular.

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Then, on Saturday, we returned to Cusco and spent the day in the city.  I got to go horseback riding on a trail with an excellent view of the Andes and eat cuy, or guinea pig, a Peruvian delicacy.  I thoroughly enjoyed them both!  Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures of the cuy because I didn’t carry my camera around the city as there is a lot of theft.

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All in all, I had a wonderful time, but this week it’s time to get serious and start class.  I’ve enjoyed the first few classes I’ve attended so far and am looking forward to this upcoming semester.

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