Travel to Cusco

Cusco Travel Blog

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Severed heads in Tukara, charming.

There are a few options in getting from Puno to Cusco. You can either take the train (which is apparently not always reliable) or you can take the bus. There are also a few bus options • direct or tour. We decided on the tour bus as it only takes about 3 hours more than the direct one and you get to see a few sites (and sights) along the way.

 

We booked in with a company called “First Class” after leaving our hotel (and getting a funny little gift • tasteless really). There were a few unusual things about the tour:

·        There were only 6 other people on the bus with us,

·        The tour guide was a rather strange woman who kept repeating herself and spoke rather broken English, and

·        The bus was a Volkswagen • never seen one of these anywhere else.

A load of bulls

 

The first stop was at a museum at Tukara. Unfortunately we did not get to see the actual archaeological site, but the museum does have some interesting things too:

·        The culture was quite big on decapitation so the main statue is a guy holding a severed head • nice.

·        The produce little bulls about 15cm high which people put on their roof (next to the Christian cross) for good luck • these are visible throughout the region.

·        They worshiped the catfish, so there are statues with catfish engravings!

 

The road from Puno to Cusco gets progressively greener, which is quite a change as the prior trips we had been on were all brown and dry.

Llama for lunch

 

From there, we went through the highest point on the journey at over 4,000m where they stopped to allow us to laugh at people buying tasteless, fluffy llama hats and other strange items.

 

After lunch at a usual tourist trap, we went on to a little spot where we could feed llamas, alpacas and vicunas (the gunaco was sick). Very cute. The vicuna was still suckling on a bottle and the fur is incredibly soft. Strangely there were a couple of shops selling artisan wares again • surprise.

 

Raqchi (pronounced rugh-chi) was an impressive stop. The structures are some of the largest walls built. On the way out there was a wedding procession with lots of dancing (and guys carrying beers) which looked like they were having a lot of fun. At the obligatory market outside they also had something which may beat the pan flute as the most annoying gift to give a child going onto an aeroplane -  a whistle that makes bird noises.

A happy vicuna

 

Our last stop was at Andahuaylillas where there is a old Jesuit church with beautiful frescoes, paintings and engravings. Inside, on one side of the entrance is a painting of the route to heaven and on the other side of the door is a painting of the route to hell.

 

Our arrival in Cusco caused some entertainment. The hostel we had booked into turned out to be a bit of a hole to say the least. No name on the outside of the building, no private bathrooms etc. Walked in. Walked out. Our taxi driver took us to another place (that he no doubt gets commission from) which was very nice, called Inca’s Dream, and got us a rate of 75% of the amount on the board at reception. (And there is a thermos of coca tea at reception • yay).

 

After dropping our stuff, we took a walk to the plaza to get a bite to eat.

Raqchi ruins
We were happy to note that the walk was flat from our hotel. Anyone who has been to Cusco will appreciate this. It is a very hilly city with tiny little streets and at altitude (3,400m), walking up and down hills can be rather draining.

 

The plaza is beautiful at night and always seems to have some activity, day or night.

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Severed heads in Tukara, charming.
Severed heads in Tukara, charming.
A load of bulls
A load of bulls
Llama for lunch
Llama for lunch
A happy vicuna
A happy vicuna
Raqchi ruins
Raqchi ruins
Wedding dancers
Wedding dancers
Can can just not see the pictures …
Can can just not see the pictures…
Cusco
photo by: Vlindeke