It is beginning to seem that a day in Cuzco just wouldn´t be complete without a trip to more ruins. Today, I revisited Sacsayhuaman, site of Inti Raymi, without 5,000 people there for the ceremony. It was great. There were a few tourists, but it is such a big site that you have plenty of space, and quiet. I found myself wondering what would have happened to this area, and in fact this entire group of people, if the Spanish, Francisco Pizarra especially, had made a small change in direction or decision that had not brought them to the area. (Yes, mom, I am reading the Inca book you gave me. And taking my vitamins.) In some ways many of the ruins here remind me of those at Mesa Verde...amazing areas that are difficult to get to, more finely built than what our advanced machinery creates today, empty. I mean, seriously, look at how big the stones behind me are!
Historical note: Cusco and nearby Sacsayhuaman were built in the shape of the sacred puma. In the picture behind me, you can see that the wall comes out in a point. Well, that just represents a tooth of the puma! The wall continues in points for hundreds of yards in this zigzag pattern and also has 3 layers. The Spanish (darn them!) took all the stones small enough back down to Cusco to build their churches and homes, what remains is what was too big to carry.
Technical note: today I am downloading directly from my camera (you were right, Toni!) but the only downside is that I cannot rotate pictures. I have excellent pictures that I could post but you would have to look at them lying down! When I have enough to fill another CD, and time to edit them before saving them, perhaps I can deal with this. I have lots of pictures of staircases. By the very nature of staircases, I am always turning my camera but cannot at this moment rotate pictures!
Anyway. The ruins were incredible, and it was a different experience to have them mostly to myself. And it was warm today! Now it´s freezing again but it was nice to get some sun.
I don´t have any big plans for tomorrow, although I´m pretty excited about breakfast. It´s eggs. Saturday, I have wonderful plans! I am going to a bridge with a very long name that starts with a Q´. I found out yesterday that when there is a Q followed by an apostrophe, it is supposed to be pronounced with a clicking in the throat, but my classmates and I were not very good at this. We all made choking sounds. Quechua spelling and pronunciation is not easy. I will update on the actual name of this bridge. The special thing about it is that it is totally made from straw and is about 100 feet long and umm, 45 feet above a river. (Translating from metric system for you, you´re welcome). Supposedly it is strong enough to walk across. I wonder if my travel insurance has exclusions for walking across straw bridges? We also stop by some lakes and a cave! We leave at 5am because it´s 3 hours away. That night is a party (oh and tonight is a concert by some famous Mexican band on the plaza so it´s also a party) for the full moon. I don´t think a full moon party is recommended for the night before one begins the Inca trail, somehow.
I hope to update Saturday night after the bridge adventure but not sure how late I´ll be getting back or what internet will be like at that hotel. If not, I´ll be doing the IT from July 1-4 so if you don´t hear from me, it is safe to assume I did not fall off the straw bridge, but am rather just hiking. I should be able to get internet in Aguas Calientes and update sometime after that.
Sorry these are so long...I don´t know if I´D want to read them! :) Always so much to talk about....
Hey Deb--can´t say if the series is even yet, 10th inning? Time for bed! Only thing on tv here is the america cup of soccer. Argentina vs. US tonight.