Activities and Events from Puno to Cusco
Day 7
SouthWind quote
  Ride in a public tourist bus for an 8 hour trip from Puno to Cusco. At Uros, you will exit the bus to join your tour guide (Rosa) to visit the archaeological sites at Chokepukio and Pikillacta. Overlooking Lake Muina, these cities along with Cusco comprise the three major prehistoric centers in the Cusco valley. Almost everywhere, one glimpses ruins of ancient cultures including a royal Inca estate built by Huascar, the last of the Inca rulers. The ancient pyramid mound of the Mamacolla makes an impressive sight from the highway. Pikillacta was constructed as a provincial capital of the Huari Empire which ruled most of highland Peru between 600-800 A.D. We'll return to the Hotel Liberator (or similar) and dinner is on your own. (CB,L)
email home from Cusco

Hello Mom -

This in the second time I am writing this letter since the computer reset itself in the middle of the previous letter. Computers are ususally 486s running w95 and connected to a shared modem. It is really slow, you can knit a sweater waiting for pages to load. But hey, they have it and I am here talking to you. The keyboard is different so I spend some time looking for the backspace and hypen. This keyboard has most of the letters missing from the keyboard, so I am looking at a set of blank keys.

Took a bus from Puno to Cusco in a tourist bus filled with mostly women from every other county but the States. I enjoyed the estogen and speaking English to a group of tourists from Austrailia. I haven't found more than one or two people from the US. Mostly people are from Europe. We arrived Uros and met our guide Rosa. She took us to ruins outside of Cusco in the pouring rain and we hiked until dark. We all had a good laugh in the five star hotel warching the bell boy sweep up after us, as we tracked in adobe on our boots. The shoe shin boys would very eager to clean my shoes, but I said Mi Gusta estan susio. I like them dirty.


Hello everyone-

We made it to Puno fine and crashed in the hotel. Got up the next morrning to catch a bus at 8:30 to Cusco. We were on time but the Bus did not show up until 9:00 so we were on the road at 9:30 with 26 other toristimos. It was a beautiful (8hr) drive up over the continental devide (road crosses 14140ft not the highest we have been). One side drains to the Amazon and the other to the Urabamba Rios. We met our new guide (Rosa) in Urcos outside of Cusco. We were two hrs late due to lots of road construction. We went to some ruins (Pikillaqta) on the way. It was Pouring Rain and getting dark but we went for it (man in adoby sticky!). There are over 1000 homes and were an estimated 5000 inhabitants. On to Cusco. We reached our hotel by 7:30 and we were BEAT! The holet we were set to be in was being remodeled so we were up graded. As we were waiting to check in Bindy stsrted laughing. Here we were in one of the Fanciest hotels in Cusco (Fancy even for the states) in our boots just covered with mud and leaving trails.


Bus ride from Puno to Cusco
Lunch stop had a pet hawk that kept us amused.

Lonely Planet quote  
  The archaeological capital of the Americas and the oldest continuously inhabited city on the continent, Cuzco is now an important link in the South American travel network. Its legacy as the hub of the Inca empire is readily apparent: most of the city streets are lined with Inca-built stone walls and crowded with Quecha-speaking descendants of the Incas. The city has magnificent repositories of colonial art such as the catedral (begun in 1559) and La Merced Church. There is also the Coricancha ruins, east of the city center, which were formerly covered with gold (the stonework is all that remains) and the Museo de Arqueológia, the interior of which is filled with metal and gold work, jewelery, pottery, textiles and mummies. Four other ruins - Sacsayhuamán, Qenko, Puca Pucara and Tambo Machay - are nearby.
GORP Quote  
  Cuzco was the Incan capital, the center of their religious and administrative life. The town is built on the Incan stonewalls, marvels of engineering put together without mortar and able to withstand more than 500 years of wrenching earthquakes. Unlike sprawling Lima, this is a relatively small city of 250,000 inhabitants. Cuzco is often compared to Kathmandu in Nepal for being at cosmopolitan, of manageable size, and the springboard for excursions into the surrounding countryside. In Cuzco proper, the prime Incan attraction is Koricahcha, the Incan empire's richest temple. The Church of Santo Domingo now stands on most of its site. But you can still visit its three side chambers dedicated to the moon, thunder and the rainbow.
  active archaeological dig  
  The Wari provincial site of Pikillacta in the valley of Cuzco, Peru, comprised the first extensive excavation of the second-largest existing Wari architectural complex. Occupied between {\sc A.C.} 600 and 900, Pikillacta was built in three successive construction phases and finally abandoned before completion of the final one. Excavations revealed well-preserved architecture in the center of the site, including such features as gypsum-plastered floors and walls; superimposed floor remains collapsed on one another, demonstrating the existence of multi-storied buildings; plastered staircases; plaster-lined niches; and a variety of sub-floor offering pits. Although the interiors of the buildings were largely devoid of artifacts, excavations in the site's principal midden produced an abundance of material: large quantities of ceramic remains, including such foreign styles as Nazca and Cajamarca, as well as objects of bone, shell, metal, obsidian, and worked stone. Evidence is presented that addresses many of the long-standing questions regarding this unusual site. The data suggest a sudden but orderly abandonment of Pikillacta in the midst of the last construction phase. Entrances to many of the buildings were carefully sealed, and at least one partially constructed building was intentionally buried. There is also evidence that the central portion of the site was consumed by fire during or shortly after abandonment.

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