Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Enjoying the Markets in Cusco, Peru

Slept like a baby last night and didn’t get up until after 7 am.  By eight we were downstairs for the breakfast that is included with our room.  Rather like a French breakfast plus some ham and cheese; very good and filling. 
About ten o’clock we ventured out with our backpacks to find the markets for some cocoa leaves for our tea and large bottles of water.  We found both along with some other treats and enjoyed our journey as you’ll see from the photos in the slideshow.   When we reached the bridge that crosses over the very deep gorge, separating the historic center from the newer sections of town we ended our journey.   The train runs along the floor of the gorge and there has been a bridge here since the time of the Incas. 
We were out of “gas” and returned along the same route towards our hotel.  By the time we arrived home we had been walking for two hours in a rarefied air, some of it uphill.   For the next three hours we rested and used our computers.
I finally got Skype back up and running.    Skype has been purchased by Microsoft and they noticed “unusual activity” and shut me down.   Microsoft kept sending me the code to confirm it was me on the account but I didn’t open it because I was looking for an email from Skype!   After some help from the outside and just pure courage on my part I put in the code that Microsoft was sending me and viola… I had Skype back up and running.   I was then able to make landline calls using Skype again!   Yes…I have a subscription for calling from South America right now, similar to the International one I use when in Europe. 
At three o’clock we ventured back out and went upstairs to the restaurant next door called Plus Restaurant for an early dinner/late lunch.   Jim had a Hawaiian Pizza and I had a Sicilian Pizza; both delicious.  We were seated at the windows and enjoyed a view of the plaza with mountains in the distance.   It started to rain while we were there and the people in the plaza hurriedly covered up but it was done sprinkling before it really got started.   They are predicting rain for tomorrow, but when looking at the weather conditions in the USA…it’s very pleasant here.  So far sweaters have been enough when we venture outside.
Our coffee mugs and the water bottle that we purchased at Wal-Mart on our first stop on the cruise have really come in handy.  We venture down to the breakfast room and they have coffee and hot water all day long.  We use our tea leaves and the covered thermos keeps it hot for a long time.
Buying the cocoa leaves....
We’re in for the night and so I thought I’d post a few photos early.  The good news is that our hearts are not pounding quite so much after we climb the stairs to our room.  Tomorrow we’re venture further and hopefully get in to see some of the multitude of churches that surround us.

About 7 pm tonight we decided to go out for a walk around the Plaza to see the lights.  Little we know what we were going to find.  A door was open into the Basilica; we walked up and a guard said, “for Mass only” and we continued walking inside.  It was beautiful. 
I managed to take one photo surreptitiously before we left just before a private Mass began.  As we walked out the door we were stunned at the view of all of the lights on the hills surrounding us.
Then we saw a door open in the Cathedral so off we went to see if we could get in there also.  Yes we did…walked right past that sign that said No Tourists.   A Mass was in progress so we only stayed for a few minutes at the back of the church and yes I did get another photo for you.
Then we saw the Inca Rail office was open on the Plaza and we were able to get information on the bus and train that we will be taking next week for our three day adventure to Machu Picchu.   It was a wonderful addition to a great day.  
Hope that you enjoy the slideshow below.  Remember, you can click on the image and it will take you to a large version slideshow.


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