Peru: en route to Cuzco

This morning we boarded a bus to Cuzco, and started our descend from
12,600 to 11,500 feet – not a small change!  But before we came down to
this blessed height, we had to go up above the tree line, above the
brush line, where only grass can grow, to the elevation of mighty
14,200 feet, where we piled out of the bus to take a picture of the
tallest mountain around.  Let me tell you, that is too high for the
human lungs.  I huffed and puffed, and gasped for air after mere 10
steps on flat ground – I would not even attempt to go up any stairs.
Kenny and Jason developed severe headaches, but Lisa claimed not to
feel any effects of the altitude.  We climbed back into the bus and
continued towards the mountains in the distance.  The scenery we
passed was nondescript.  Nothing was offensive to the eye, nothing
pleased it.  The closer we got to the Andes, the prettier it became.
We passed many little farms nestled at the feet of the mountains where
women in bright skirts with petticoats and top hats were hoeing
their fields.  We rode over rivers and wadis, and through the valleys,
and finally arrived in Cuzco.  We deposited our luggage in the hotel,
and headed for dinner.  It was dark out, very dark, but what I saw of
this town was totally amazing.  I will take a better look tomorrow in
the daylight and send a detailed description, but what I saw in the
dark was utterly different from any town I had ever seen,
original and unique.
We ate dinner in a Peruvian restaurant in a courtyard with our feet on
a cobble stone floor.  Over our heads, in the pitch-black sky, hung a
blinding disc of the moon.  I was going to order guinea pig (I am
sorry, Liat), but this delicacy had to be ordered a day in advance.
So I settled for lamb.
One more observation is about local people.   Pizarro conquered
this whole country with 17 or so conquistadors and that small number
of Spaniards is evident in the present day population.  To the naked
eye, no heavy traces of their DNA can be detected in the population,
and most of them seem to be pure blood Indians.


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