Cuzco. Or Cusco. Both are correct. I came there tired after over 24 hours on the bus. Then it became worse. It turned out that my luggage had been leeft in Lima. I hadn’t understand that if I leave it where I bought my ticket, I have to get back to authorise sending it with me. My linguistic incapacities stroke back. Especially that the next bus had left Lima by the time I realised what happened. So I was supposed to wait for two days. I waited for three. I was saved by my poncho and a new t-shirt with red Peru logo even though the evenings in Cuzco are a bit chilly.
From the moment the bus reached higher part of the mountains, I had a headache. It didn’t disappear the first day even though I got some mate de coca, coca leaves tea, as eeryone suggested. Coca can be chewed or drunk. You can also buy coca candies and energy bars. Before further questions: to produce a gram of cocaine one needs over 15 kilos of coca leaves so there is no high effect, sorry. As I was told, however, coca is very nutritious and has plenty of water. Shamans, preparing for some rituals, for two weeks only chew coca leaves to cleanse the body and spirit. I didn’t try such hardcore stuff but, indeed, it deals pretty well with hunger and lack of energy.
I was wandering around the city for two days waiting for my luggage. I made it to a court through some ordinary wooden door in the wall. In the middle there were two alpacas an a llama. I came closer to take some pictures. After a while, the owner arrived. She introduced them and tried to make one of them kiss me. I don’t know if I should be happy or upset that in my selfie alpaca isn’t kissing me.
In the same court, there were plenty of souvenir shops. In one of them I bought for some little money (about 6$) a lovely stone pipe shaped as a head of the Inca. In another shop I started looking at ponchos, even though I had my own. The owner, Lurdes (Lourdes?) approached me. She remarked my poncho and suddenly recognised it as Ecuadorian product from Otavalo. I asked her how did she know it. Because of the colours and the pattern. She showed me few more. Those with llama pictures are characteristic for higher part of the mountains, including Cuzco. I suppose, however, that they are also a nice tourist trap. I don’t like them much, I prefer some geometrical patterns.
Cuzco used to be amazing. When Spaniards got there, the walls were covered with gold and silver. At least that’s what the guide told me. Some walls made it till today, no gold though. But the stonework is great! Evenly shaped blocks, earth between them. That makes the construction more flexible and less fragile for the earthquakes. A lot of them was used to build new colonial buildings, also beautiful.
In Cuzco I met two Ukrainians. Best regards to Lubov, the 700th person to like my Facebook fanpage.
I regret not doing one thing in Cuzco – not getting a massage for only 20 soles (about 6 bucks). I couldn’t make a decision. And I still didn’t eat the guinea pig. I didn’t buy oxygen either but I didn’t need it. I don’t think anyone can need it, even though some hotels offer it. The altitude sickness in Cuzco shouldn’t be so strong.
Oh, and the last thing. Peruvian police uniforms are so elegant…