Sign in or Create your own Travel blog
Select Location: 

View Entire Trip

Share |
    

Monday 15 Mar 2010
Cusco, Peru

More Incan ruins!

Took a collectivo bus up to see the ruins of Tambo Machay, Puca Pucara, Qenko and the plan was also to get to Sacsayhuaman, but alas it started raining REALLY heavily and was getting dark at 5pm so I had to postpone that for the next day. The best way to see these ruins is to get to Tambo Machay and then walk downhill from there along the main road back toward Cusco (the sites run alongside the main road)

I forgot to mention that to get to any of these Inca sites you have to buy a 10-day Tourist Ticket which costs around 50 euro! It's crazy that they don't offer a 2 or 3 day one for people like me who won't be able to take in all the sites.

Tambo Machay was a water temple and it's a fairly small site, but it has some remarkable water features which still function today as well as they did 600 years ago. The site would have been used for ritual cleansing by shamans or other high-ranking folk.

Puca Pucara was a site that was believed to have been a fort, but recent religious excavations at the site have lead others to suggest it was a religious location. More stone-walled ruins, nothing particularly spectacular, but it does have a rather large rock in the center that is believed to have been used as a model for Machu Picchu when they were designing the site. It does bear a remarkable resemblance to Machu Picchu, but this is all theory and it could just be pure fluke that the rock was shaped like that!

While at Puca Pucara, I got chatting to a guide called Xavier, and somehow he convinced me to take him along to the next site (I'm not usually keen on guides as it's usually pretty hard to take photos at your own pace) but he offered me a "Christmas Present" (his words) of a 50% discount so I thought I'd try it out for the next site.

The 3rd site, Qenko, was about 4km further down the road so we hopped it in a Collectivo. It's very different from the other sites, as it contains a large formation of rocks with caves and ceremonial burial "windows" that would have housed mummys (apparently in Peru, mummys were actually sold to tourists as little as 30 years ago. The only way you can see a mummy today is in a museum). There was a large rock near the entrance to the cave that once was shaped like a puma and was covered in gold and silver (these metals having no value to the Inca). Of course when the Spanish arrived they destroyed the rock, thinking that it was a heretical symbol. But apparently on Summer Solstice you can still see the shape of a puma in the shadow cast by the rock.
These little bits of info came from my guide, so in a way it was good to have him for this section. He also guided me through the cave and showed me a ceremonial table where mummies would have been prepared, and an area where llama sacrifices took place. But predictably I found it quite hard to get time to take photos without him standing in the way, or trying to drag me onwards, so I decided to call it quits with him at Qenko and then I'd try to tackle the last site near Cusco: Sacsayhuaman.

But at this stage the rain, which had been precipitating slightly all day, decided to downpour heavily and also brought the temperature down to such a level that I could see my breath! I had only brought a tshirt so an emergency sweater-buying was on the cards. I ended up getting an alpaca sweater which did the trick, but I also got a bit of a chill and now I've got another case of the flu/sore throat to contend with. Doh!

Back to the hostel pronto...

1 Comment for this Travel blog entry

mum Says:

19 March 2010

all very historic and interesting. sorry you managed to get a bit of flu hope not the usual sore throat. I got a bit dose here in Dubai due to chilly air conditioning in restaurant. The Alpaca sweater nice and warm? did u bring antibiotic? get well.

South America Twenty Ten

Travel blog by peterforan

Moiagasm!

Moiagasm!


After previously dipping my toes in Latin America via trips to Cuba and Central America, it's time to go for the big splash! 3 1/2 months to take in as much as I can, armed with little more than my camera, laptop and a few dodgy Spanish phrases.

visitors: 498,557

Currently in:

Dublin, Ireland

Buy this Blog on CD!  More...


Makes a great gift for anytime!

Photo Album

  • Pisac ruins

    Cusco

    Peru

    Pisac ruins
  • Pisac Sunday...

    Cusco

    Peru

    Pisac Sunday market
  • Pisac Sunday...

    Cusco

    Peru

    Pisac Sunday market
  • Pisac Sunday...

    Cusco

    Peru

    Pisac Sunday market