under the coconut tree

Monday, June 25, 2007


It was a terribly long flight from Miami to Lima. It didn't help that our flight was a couple of hours delayed. Arriving slightly dazed in Lima, we took the next flight out to Cusco.

Even though we were well aware on effects of the altitude sickness since Cusco was over 3,000m above sea level - we were pretty confident that we would have no problems. After all, we used to frequent the Alps and have never suffered from altitude sickness. And, boy were we wrong!!! KL and I were sick the first few days - we were confined mostly in the hostal. That said, those knowing KL - we did still managed to get some nice chinese takeaway nearby to compensate for the pain and suffering.

Plaza de Armas - at the main square of the city.

Houses perched on the slopes of the hills.

Locals adorned in their traditional attire are especially for the tourists. You see them on the streets stopping tourists for photo oppurtunity for 1 Peruvian Sol. It's either that or kids trying to sell you postcards or constant harrasment by touts attempting to sell you travel packages to Machu Picchu etc... I guess tourism comes with a cost.

We ventured out on the local bus to a nearby town called Pisac. There wasn't much to do there except for the archealogical ruins and the local market.
KL having a go at llama herding.
An elderly selling powdered dye. The colourful embroidered shawls.

Many varieties of corn found in the market.

A statue of Jesus watching over the city.
One of my many favourite photos taken by KL.

Since we were not up for the 4 day trek up to the Lost City - blaming it on the altitude sickness and the heavy rain season, we cheekily took the comfortable and easy way up instead - the mountain train. Signs of old age (KL was suprsingly quick to agree this time - probably due to the delapitating effects of the altitude we experienced days earlier)! And so we joined the throngs of people queueing up to get tickets to get into the ruin. And, to think this is not even peak season!

The map outlining the layout of the Inca ruins - it's huge!

Locals hawking their wares to passengers in the train. If we were not backpacking for the next few months, I'd definitely be tempted to buy!

The terraces use for planting crops.

The llama happily posing for the classic postcard shot.

The magnificient Inca ruin, Machu Picchu.

The sun dial. If you look closely at the right-hand corner of a sun dial (that's the block of stone on the bottom right), you will see that it's slightly chipped. Apparently, a beer company thought it was a good idea to bring a crane up to film for an advertisment. The crane swung the wrong way mid filming and knocked a chunk off the block.

It was so hard to get so close to a llama - we struck gold when we came upon this friendly fellow sitting pretty on the terrace. We managed to get this shot, though as you can see I was slightly apprehensive - taking into consideration my big brother's advice (fan of the comic Tin Tin) not to get too close less you want to get spit on you.

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