Monday, September 2, 2013

Visiting Cuzco - an incredible Colonial city in Peru, South America

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We had been invited to meet and stay with Lainie and Miro,
I had been chatting with Lainie, and we had also done an interview with her on her web-site this month.
And then we finally got to meet them both.
They had just moved, but had been living here for a year, so we had excellent tour guides!

First visit was to the 12 angle stone.

Next we ventured to the fresh food market.
We were quite surprised to see frog and snake for sale.
My son loved it!
Miro impressed us all with his Spanish.
He is a self taught un-schooler, and he speaks fluent Spanish with no accent!
We spent hours at this market.
We stocked up as this was our first day on some lovely fruit and vegetables, dairy, and other delights.
We were introduced to all the sellers they knew, and it was not surprising these were the happiest people in the market!
What was even more delightful was fresh fruit smoothies - which turned out to be 2 huge glasses of our choice of fruits - yum!

It ended up taking most of the day to wander around.
We were shown many of the lanes and streets of Cuzco, and soon we had a feel for this gorgeous town.

So next day I was able to venture out and we wandered through the streets.
We started with a French Crepe.
Not what you would expect in Cuzco, but really yummy!

There were so many interesting places to see as we wandered towards San Blas Plaza.
This is a tourist town, so ladies wander the streets with Llama's and Alpacas for photographs (and money).

San Blas Plaza has some great areas to explore.
Museums, and quaint market places, and little shops.
At the end is a fountain - it is a nice place to sit and enjoy the sun.

We really were having a great time exploring.
We met a beggar lady and helped her too which was nice.

After a while we noticed just how many brightly coloured ladies wandered the streets.
This time with lambs!

We watched as some unfortunate guy held a lamb for a photo, and proceeded to get poop all over his beautiful jacket.  We laughed with him, but really, it was a bit of a sad mishap!

Lainie had told us about the Chocolate Museum, so we headed there next.
You can make your own hot chocolate with really chocolate, and spices - but we just went for the plain one.  It was pretty rich and enough for us to share one.

Now V.W.'s are everywhere. My passion for a 'combi' van is still very much alive, and we loved this old mobile restaurant van that was parked in the street.  Not quite my dream V.W. though!
V.W. have been made in Mexico for years, and so there is a plethora of them in South America.

The next day we hiked to Temple of the Moon.
See separate blog on that.

 The day after we are out again - this time to find a bank A.T.M.
(A.T.M.'s here can also have a 14.50 soles fee to withdraw money, and the amount you can withdraw is limited, so this is something to watch - several have no charges).

We pass the main square.  This is the most gorgeous square I have seen in South America to date I think.

The centre fountain is based on Neptune I think, and is lovely and clean - most fountains in South America are not.

Our quest for an ATM was fulfilled, but there was minimal money we could withdraw.  This happens a lot on weekends when cash is low.  they will lower the withdrawal amount.  5 different bank A.T.M.'s later, we still had no more cash.

But we did meet this lovely man.
We gave to him and had a bit of a chat.
He loved having his photo taken, which most don't.
His toothless grin was so heart-warming!

As we wandered back past the plaza, I felt like we were walking through a postcard.
Churches all around, a beautiful square, and lovely gardens.

We wandered up the hill towards their home.
The view is incredible over Cuzco.

So we decided to go all the way to the top and visit the church near their home.
In the car park was a little market.
Llamas fed on the top grass.  The city sprawled out below us.
My son is going through a 'stay home' phase, but once he is out we both find we love exploring!

If you are visiting Cuzco, I recommend staying in San Blas - the historical region.
It is just lovely!

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