We then visited the beautiful Amantani island where there are no dogs, cars, hotels, or machines. The hillsides are terraced and agriculture is still done by hand. The island is inhabited by about 4000 Quechua-speaking people.
It seems that in Dom's bike crash, he broke a bone in his hand. Since he was still able to move his fingers after the accident, everyone here was certain that it was only a sprain. Thanks to "Alberta Health Link"s recommendation, he decided to go to the doctor's for an X-Ray anyway, and Tada!! …Broken pinky :(
In French we often use the expression "Jamais deux sans trois" (Never a second without a third)…. therefore, this was my third journey to Machu Picchu. Since I had already done both the 2-day and 4-days traditional Inca Trails, I decided to do another adventure tour called the Inca Jungle. The nice thing about this trek is that it allowed me to meet up with Jen at Machu Picchu.
Unfortunately, 2 people from our group had to turn back after the first day/night (along with the assistant guide and a porter) due to asthma/altitude issues.
Two kilometres from the Plaza des Armas in Cusco, you can find the Sacsayhuaman ruins. The Inca (king) built Sacsayhuaman to represent the head of a puma while the Incan capital city Cusco forms the puma's body. Due to destruction of the site during the Spanish invasion, only about 20% of the original Sacsayhuaman site remains... but it is still really impressive (just look at the size of the rocks).
We had lots of fun on the original Inca slides,
and making weird shadows on the giant rock faces ;)
Since we went on Wednesday, the Pisac market did not have the local fruit & veggy stands (which are only there Tue/Thrs/Sun). However Sean and Flo were able to pick up some some souvenirs, and Jen made a new friend ;)
In the heart of Cusco, there is an old market that is really interesting to see. It is divided into multiple sections: meat (dried pig heads, cow tongues), spices, chocolate, cheese, fruits/vegetables, flowers, bread, etc.
Sean and Flo arrived in Cusco and Jen will be joining their Geckos Inca Highlands Tour for the next 2 weeks. With their tour we did a quick walking tour of downtown Cusco.
Plaza de Armas
Santo Domingo Church
Our first week of spanish school is over and we only have good things to say about it. We went to the school that Dominic attended 7 years ago (Excel - http://www.excel-spanishlanguageprograms-peru.org) and were totally satisfied. In the first week on top of learning spanish, we managed to do salsa lessons, a Peruvian cook class, and a ceramics/pottery class. In our spanish classes, our teachers Luis and Nati didn't just teach us a lot of Spanish, they also taught us a lot about the culture of Peru and Cusco.