Monday, November 24, 2014

City Panoramic Bus Tour and Museum in Cusco, Peru

I woke up early at 6:30 am and could hear all the early risers eating breakfast downstairs…that will be us tomorrow morning…in preparation for leaving.   So I got up and washed my hair.  I could tell the water was hot as the wall behind my bed gets warm when the water is hot in the bathroom.  They use propane gas and turn it on and off when needed.  If we wait too long in the evening we have to go downstairs and tell them to turn it on.  They are very good about doing so and fortunately; it heats up very fast. 

Jim finally woke about 7:30 and we got ready and went downstairs about 8:30 for breakfast.  We had to wait for the table to be reset for us as the hotel was full last night.  The people here in Peru are all so polite and helpful it’s easy to smile and be patient when necessary.  

By 9 am we were out the door on our way to the grocery store to pick up some supplies.  We got two large bottles of water, Kleenex and snacks for our journey tomorrow.   The sun is shining but we carry our umbrellas.  When we returned to the hotel they were still working on our room so we took the opportunity to play one hand of our favorite game of cards.

For those that play Hand & Foot, you’ll understand; we both had lots of wild cards and the discard pile was rather good and it became a challenge to see who would run out of wide cards to discard first.  Jim finally won that challenge but I went on to win the hand eventually.  Lots of fun and we were in good spirits when we finished and prepared for our next outing.

About 11:30 am we boarded the top of a double decker bus for a Panoramic Bus Tour of the City of Cusco including Sacsayhuman (also spelled Saqsaywaman).   We spent half an hour circling two of the main squares until they had enough people and then continued through various areas of the city.  Some of the things you can look for in the slideshow:  unbelievable electric wiring, the beer factory sign, an American Flag, a water heater on top of a roof, young eucalyptus trees used as support when building multiple stories, and many beautiful buildings.

Soon we were headed up the hill to the base of the Cristo Banco (white Christ).   It was beautiful and we were able to get off of the bus for about ten minutes.  Jim chose to stay on the bus and moved up to the front seats that had been vacated by the people who couldn’t take the sun…it was very hot!

From there we went to an area when they had shops that sold very expensive alpaca clothing, rugs and native crafts.   There was one beautiful rug…maybe three by four….$900.00 USA.   Too rich for my blood.  But I did find the cleanest rest rooms of the trip so far and no one collecting money!!   On the way back to the bus I gave an old man who was sitting at a loom weaving a rug a USA Dollar for a photo and he beamed from ear to ear.  Back on the bus we drove around the outside of the site that we’d walked last Saturday.  Suddenly there was a stream of police and white vans.  Some VIP’s were visiting the site and created a traffic jam.

But soon we were back down the hill and into the city.  It was a fun hour and a half but we were ready to get off the bus.  Back to the hotel to refresh and eat our lunch.  We’d made one sandwich to share at breakfast and had a Peruvian Top Raman type soup that we’d purchased at the grocery store that we heated in our coffee mugs.  Worked well and soon we were back out the door on another adventure.

At four o’clock we walked  six blocks to find one of the Museums that was covered by our Tourist Pass that we purchased on Saturday.  When we arrived we realized we needed to walk up to the top of the hill to enter.  When we arrived at the top there was the Qorikancha and the Convent de Santo Domingo del Cusco along with a beautiful church.  When we entered we found out that this was not covered but since we walked all the way up we paid the ten sols and were well rewarded for our decision.  Beautiful and ancient; a convent and church was built on the site of an Inca Palace.  Much of the walls of the Palace were preserved.  

Afterwards we discovered that our Museum was actually at street level and so we walked back down the hill to the main street.  There we discovered the Oorikancha Site Museum which is in the basement of what was the Oorikancha Temple; the ruins of which are now a large grass area and we actually left the museum by climbing up out of the basement and walking across the green grass to the exit.  Notice the difference in spelling…they seem to have two ways to spell everything here!
A long and slow walk slightly uphill towards the hotel.  Along the way Jim purchased a hat that has Machu Picchu on it.  He’s thrilled!   My straw hat has bit the dust…you see I’m wearing his baseball cap today….so I’m wearing his hat for the next three days.  We’re looking for a smaller version of his new hat for me. 

A long day but we were tucked into the hotel before six o’clock and busy packing for our three day adventure starting early tomorrow morning.  We’re leaving most of our belongings here in Cusco as we’ll be back on Thursday afternoon for the last four days of our trip.  We have a two hour bus ride followed by an hour and a half on a train to reach the village at Machu Picchu.  Hope the weather holds; it’s been beautiful except for yesterday.  We’re supposed to have internet so will take our computers with us. 

Hope you enjoy the slideshow today and can find all the items I mentioned above!


Susan said...

Martha, I've been enjoying your trip to Peru! We met on your Egypt trip and I'm so impressed with all of your blogs. Looking forward to the rest of the trip.
Susan (Arlington VA)

Martha said...

Susan...thrilled to read your comment. Of course I remember you. So glad that you are are enjoying my blogs. We have fond memories of that trip to Egypt. So glad we went when we did. This trip has been very different but fun. We're heading for a couple of months in Italy, England & the last week in Paris with my sister in March. Love to travel. Martha