A weekend in Cusco

Stairways can go up to heaven.( Tests your cardiac output devastatingly quickly and effectively. Remember, this is one small section of the climb to the top!)

These stairs also take you to where the locals BBQ, on a hill overlooking Cusco. The same place we had the Inti Raymi picnic last Friday.

Building a BBQ is complex. Peat-like dried clods are collected, an arch using them is made over a dug out area and finally, an oven for roasting potatoes and much more is ready.

The oven of an expert is obvious, even to the untrained eye. Symmetrical, structurally sound….

Overlooking this area are three nicely decorated wooden crosses. Above them is a white, concrete, Christ. Naturally all are higher than the paddock of BBQers. And all overlook all llamas and the town of Cusco. 😊

Llamas have such a calm presence. And their attraction to their person is usually very evident. They are connected by a rope but rarely dragged along. They are seemingly very happy alongside. 

From the hill you can see over to many others, including the adjacent, and ultra expensive, national park. Spelling its name defeats me but it’s pronounced ‘sexy woman’ and so is easy to remember. 

An impressive part of it is its terraces, something I’ll see a lot more of in a week, when my trip to Machu Picchu starts. 

As you walk along the narrow road, back down the hill, it’s surprising to see newly placed turf on the side, protected by a couple of strands of barbed wire. Walking on the grass is not permitted here, on the hill or in the Plaza de Armas. Signs in both places make comments such as ‘no dogs’ ‘it’s for us all’ etc. 

And no one does walk or sit on the grass. 

After going up stairs you have to go down. The main hill in the old part of Cusco is bisected multiple times by sets of stairs. To say they are steep is unnecessary. (Seriously, they are not as bad as those going up! Well, um ……). 

Houses of all types sit close by the stairs. Few fit the definition of a McMansion.

Well, with one exception. As I walked down one hill, past a woman sitting soaping clothes in a basin of water, a moggie jumped out of a hanging structure, above her. She told me it was the cat’s hammock. Puss wasn’t going to get back in while I watched but I reckon, for a cat, it was a McMansion equivalent. Safe above the fray, and the many local dogs.! 

Speaking of dogs: dogs here certainly appear to be well looked after. And, to see what a well dressed dog needs this winter, Cusco is the place. 

Even those of a very small size are well catered. 

School again next week. Fours hours a day with D. She made continuing with Mundo Antiguo worthwhile. Hard work but generally lots of (often) silly fun. 

The outcome: it helps make possible conversations with a range of people around town, today alone, from the cat’s owner to an old woman knitting hats as she sat with an older woman selling various woollen items.

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