12.03.2013 - 12.03.2013
We decided to push back our start time today to let Tyler sleep in a bit and thankfully he is feeling much better than the disaster that was yesterday. We spent the day in Cusco city which is the heart of the Incan empire. Why are the Incans so special?, well because they were able to make incredible advances as they were experts in engineering and agriculture back in the 1400's before Spain came to Peru and conquered it all. They were able to make structures such as Machu Picchu that defy what they should have been able to do in that time period. The carved rocks and walls are so perfect that it looks like it was made with machines, which is why there are myths that aliens are actually responsible for it (credit to my brother for enlightening us about this alien conspiracy) but the tour guide actually did mention it today as well, trying to dispel the myth. Anyways, we went around to some ruins, met up with some lamas and alpacas, and some cathedrals. We also went to a local market which was definitely something else. They had meat stalls with hanging bull penises and tongues, and rows of fresh fruit stalls and bread piled high. We skipped on the bull penis but went for the banana mango smoothie instead this time. We took some pictures with the local people and sometimes there are locals trying to make money so they throw a cute baby or animal at you so that you want to take a picture of them and of course give them a little change. Well I guess I'm a big target because when we got to one of the cathedrals this lady threw a baby lamb in my arms..it was so cute with a little Peruvian hat..and so yes of course I want a picture with it. And while they were taking a picture, 3 more women jump into the picture so that I have to give all of them change, but to top it off the cute baby lamb started chewing on my hair! I mean like a chunk of my hair was bitten off! Later in the day we saw another lady with a lamb and she was trying to follow me but I didn't need another haircut! We bid farewell to our guide Chino, and his last words were "don't forget about the condors." For lunch we finally did it...yes we had guinea pig! It came out with the head on, and the teeth!! There was no mistaking this for beef this time. We did actually eat it all..tasted like pork but with stretchy skin and little bones. We can tick that off the list thankfully! For the rest of the afternoon we wandered around the cobblestoned city, all the buildings with red clay tile roofs. We then had a cooking lesson in the evening for dinner. Two interns from the Netherlands and Germany that are working for the small travel company we are using escorted us to the home of a chef. It was a good but sometimes awkward experience. The girls spoke Spanish fairly well and the chef barely spoke English so the interns were responsible for the translation. I think they are new at this because at first they forgot to translate what the chef was saying to us. We learned how to make Pisco sours, so we are going to try to see if we can get the stuff to make at home. We then made a traditional Peruvian salad that has lots of Lima beans, corn, tomatoes, cheese, olives, onions and cilantro.. pretty tasty..like a Peruvian Greek salad. We then had a traditional chicken dish made out of a very orange pepper and cream ( hopefully the cream sits well in Tyler's stomach)..also very good. No dessert..I'm definitely feeling like we haven't had a good dessert tasting here so far. We said goodbye to the girls and chef for the night and we're off to bed. We head to the Amazon tomorrow..I hope there is wifi..is that too much to ask?