Monday, 8 October 2007


Cusco is the ancient capital of the Inca empire. Modern day Cusco is in Peru and is a massive tourist town. People are drawn to see the Inca ruins and also to walk the famous Inca Trail up to Machu Pichu ( more of that in a week or so ). The town is at 3400m above see level, so it takes a few days to get your breath back after climbing any hills.....

We´ve had great few days here. We visited most of the town centre sights and a fantastic set of ruins called Sacsayhuaman ( that the Inca language - Quechua, but most people simply remember it as Sexy Woman ). Sacsayhuaman used to be the huge Inca fort looking down on Cusco. The most impressive feature has to be the size and fit of the masonary ! The stones they used are absolutely massive ( see picture of Athena for scale ). They´re all a little bit irregular so have been fitted together on an indvidual basis. They didn´t use mortar to hide any gaps between the stone, because they were such skilled masons that they didn´t need to to. You can´t get a fag paper between adjacent stones.

There are lots of other old Inca walls that have been incorporated into the fabric of modern Cusco. This photo shows off the typical style where they´d built the walls with a significant top to bottom taper. Again the fit between adjacent stones is near perfect.
There are loads of other nice things to see ( loads of colonial churches and a fantastic market with chicken´s feet and live frogs etc etc ), but to be honest, it´s the Inca stuff that makes the places special.
We also bumped into a selection of mates. Zoe Checkley ( collegue of Alan`s from Honda ) was here with her friend Lynn. By bizarre coincidence they`re going to be crawling up the Inca Trail over the same 4 days that we will be. We also met up with Steve ( AKA The Dog ) and Becky who we`ll be travelling around with for the remainder of our time in South America. Becky speaks excellent Spanish, so is to be treasured !