Walking Around Cusco

C-c-cold. Even with nice, heavy blankets my room is chilly (58°F to be exact). I managed an early morning nap before heading downstairs to meet my Condor Travel rep transferring me to my 1pm tour. The itinerary for today reads:
CITY TOUR + RUINS The tour will show you the amazing colonial city built on the foundations of the Inca palaces. You will visit the Koricancha (Temple of the Sun), where you can appreciate the incredible masonry of the Incas, the Plaza de Armas and the Cathedral with its carved woodworks, altars and paintings. Then you will be driven to the Inca fortress of Sacsahuamán, to the underground cave and temple of Kenko, have a panoramic view of PucaPucará and then you will enter to Tambomachay, known as the Baths of the Inca. Finally, we stop at the living art the workshop “ Inka’s Expression”. The visit will allow passengers to admire how the local artisans create wonderful silver pieces, paintings and wood carvings.
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Cusco Cathedral We started out in the center of Cusco at the Cathedral of Santo Domingo. They don’t allow photos inside, but aside from the strange paintings, it’s basically seen-one-cathedral-you’ve-seen-them-all. As for the paintings, each of them had some tragic distortion, like a woman with muscular man-arms or a man with a pin head. The tour guide explained it was due to the low skill level of the artists, but I’m suspicious. How does one distort exactly one thing in a painting?
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Marco Zapata’s Last Supper Here’s an image I found online of one of the not-distorted paintings in the cathedral. This blogger explains, “Peruvian painter, Marcos Zapata put his own spin on The Last Supper. His version shows Jesus and the disciples dining on cuy (guinea pig) and drinking chicha.” You can see Judas, not at the right hand of Jesus, but with the darker skin lower right.
Marco Zapata's Last Supper

Marco Zapata’s Last Supper

No coins for Lamb Ladies. 😦 Outside the cathedral, a dozen or so Peruvian women and girls were dressed in colorful, traditional clothing holding small lambs. (Or baby sheep, as I call them.) For S/1 (40¢ US) they’d let you take their picture. I wanted a photo but I only had a S/100 ($40 US) bill on me. In 2 days though, I’ll be back through with change in my pocket. In the meantime, enjoy this pic I took of 3 schoolgirls and their llama:
Schoolgirls walking through Cusco with their llama.

Schoolgirls walking through Cusco with their llama.

Uh oh. (Should I have booked in Aguas Calientes?) There are about 20 people in my group today; people from Canada (Windsor), Toronto, Florida, Greece and London. Most of us are traveling on (5 hours: bus, train, bus) to Machu Picchu tomorrow and staying the night in Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu Pueblo), 30 minutes from MP. I decided – perhaps foolishly – to stay at the Sanctuary Lodge, a 30-room luxury hotel right at the entrance to Machu Picchu. The couple from Windsor was raving about the Inkaterra Hotel in Aguas Calientes and got me thinking, Crap. Maybe I should have stayed in town (A.C.) at a nicer hotel at half the price. Oh well. Would just be for one night. We shall see.
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Enjoy the rest of the pics from today:
Temple of the Sun (Templo del Sol) at Koricancha.

Temple of the Sun (Templo del Sol) at Koricancha.

Workspace and retail store selling insanely expensive alpaca-wool clothing.

Workspace and retail store selling insanely expensive alpaca-wool clothing.

Taken from my bus waiting outside the expensive alpaca clothing store.

Taken from my bus waiting outside the expensive alpaca clothing store.

Incan fortress outside Cuzco, Peru.

Incan fortress outside Cuzco, Peru.

Incan fortress outside Cuzco, Peru.

Incan fortress outside Cuzco, Peru.

Technically, the "Inca" was the leader of the Quechuan people. There were a total of 14.

Technically, the “Inca” was the leader of the Quechuan people. There were a total of 14.

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