Day 12: Pisac and Cusco

Women dressed traditionally

This morning I had arranged for a taxi to pick me up from the hotel and drive me to the Pisac ruins and Cusco. It was with Juan, the taxi driver that I had met yesterday. He doesn’t speak English, so I decided to sacrifice my plan to see nearby ruins in order to download a English to Spanish translation app. This takes a while on dial-up internet, but the sacrifice was worth while. The app allowed us a chance at conversation, which was a great way to try and learn some Spanish.

The town of Pisac and its ruins are on the way to Cusco, so it was logical to stop there first. The ruins are fantastic. They are spread out over an area that may be larger than Machu Picchu. There aren’t as many, but the construction is pretty impressive! The giant terraces and marvelous landscape also adds to the visit. I felt like I could spend a while at this place.

Just opposite of the ruins are tombs of the Inca that inhabited the area. If I had not read about it, I would not have noticed it. They are simply holes in the side of the mountain cliffs. From afar they might resemble honeycombs. Unfortunately, these tombs had been raided by grave robbers.

After the ruins we stopped at the town of Pisac. The town is quaint and seems popular with tourists. Some even look like they’ve taken up residency. There is a giant market that extends out from the plaza. Alpaca scarfs and sweaters seem to be common items, along with flutes and other trinkets. The only thing I bought was water and a meat empanada.

We continued on to Cusco. Juan dropped me off in the city plaza and I thanked him for the Spanish lessons. I walked a couple of blocks to a hotel that I had reserved, dropped off my things then returned to the plaza. There I found a wonderful restaurant, with a balcony overlooking the square. I enjoyed an alpaca steak while it rained slightly. The balcony was covered and I was able to enjoy the atmosphere without getting wet. My first impression of Cusco has been great, I’m glad I have two nights here.

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