Ciarán & Elaine's Travelog

Friday, October 14, 2005

Sexy Woman!

Cusco is at the heart of the Inca empire and is the main archaeological region in South America. Around the main square of Cusco we have seen old Inca walls, Inca churches and other small ruins.

Today we took a taxi 8km outside the city to follow a trail of four ancient sites back down to Cusco. Not to bore you with the history, but....

The first was Tambo Machay which was an old Inca ceremonial bath and is thought to have been connected to an Inca water cult. It´s amazing the way it was built, particularly the drainage and the masonary. It could really pass for modern day showers and baths.

Next we went to Puca Pucara, which is an old fort but we didn´t really find it very exciting at all. Wasn´t much different than any of the old castles you´d see around Ireland.

The next ruins was Qenko. This one was much more impressive with tunnels and ceremonial alters all carved out of a huge piece of limestone. We were trying to listen in on some of the tours and what the guides were saying sounded really interesting - condors, llamas and pumas were sacrificed on the top of the rock and the blood would flow down through the zigzag rivulets carved into the rock.

Our last stop was at Sacsayhuaman (pronounced Sexy Woman!). This place was huge and took a couple of hours just to walk around. The Incas designed it to resemble the head of the puma with the zigzag walls forming the teeth.
It´s amazing how they built this place. All of the rocks are perfectly put together and one of them weighs more than 300 tonnes. No idea how they got it up the hill and into place!

There are 8 condors on Cusco´s coat of arms because at the last battle at sexy woman thousands of people died and were left to be eaten by the birds on the grounds of the fortress - kinda gruesome!

Back to the hostel where there was a BBQ and a couple of drinks in the bar...


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