Saturday, April 16, 2011

Peru - Day 8 Part I - Cusco, Andahuaylillas, Huari Aqueducts, Raqchi

Today is a long travelling day as we move from Cusco to Puno by bus. We started the day with a hearty breakfast at the hotel. The Libertador Cusco is a very nice hotel. The contrast between our hotel and the city is striking.

Just outside our hotel is the Church of Santo Domingo, a Spanish built Catholic church, that sits on the foundations of Qoricancha, the Inca Temple of the Sun. As I mentioned before, the Spanish tried to obliterate the Incan culture and beliefs. One of their favor techniques was to tear down the Incan temples and build churches on top of the ruins.

Getting ready to board the bus.

The back side of the Church of Santo Domingo.

As I said, we are taking the bus so much of what you will see coming up are "Bus Shots" as we travel. The next few are in Cusco. I do want to show the culture and lifestyle of the Peruvian people so I have lots of photos of everyday life as best as I can get them from the speeding bus on bumpy roads. Sometimes the photos select themselves....the ones that aren't blurred/out of focus/full of bus window reflections make it to the blog.

A Cusco school.

We stopped at the Huari Aqueducts. The Huari predated the Incas and actually provided the city planning skills, architectural techniques, and other things that the Incas are generally given complete credit for inventing. I would love to give you tons of information on sites like this, but I don't have the time to do so. If you are really interested in learning more, you can Google any of the names that I provide in the blog.

We are now pulling into the small town of Andahuaylillas. We toured the 17th century church in the photos below. Again, no photos were allowed in the church.

The street market was waiting for us.

The church is undergoing a complete renovation project funded by a big Peruvian energy company.

The walkway in front of the church had stones laid in patterns.

The city plaza.

After leaving Andahuaylillas, we travel to Raqchi.

The ruins at Raqchi are of what was once the holiest site in the Incan empire.

The large vertical walls were the center support for a very large temple. In the photo, you can see columns and the a wall just outside of the columns. All these structures supported the thatched roof that covered the temple.

You can see one of the columns here with a tile roof. The tile roofs have been added to prevent weathering of the remaining structures. The Inca's did not use tile roofs.

You can only look at so many rocks before you go crazy. As it turned out, there were lots of flowers among the rocks. A flower is pretty close to the complete opposite of a rock so I though a few of them would be a refreshing break from the rocks.

A recreated thatched roof on this building.

The round buildings are for storing grains.

Terri Butler in action with her Nikon.

Another flower among the rocks.

One of the local residents photoed me and others in the group as we passed through the village on the way to the ruins. Using the photos, the artist made some pretty wicked caricatures. One of the couples in the group saw mine and bought it for me. I had loaned them an electrical adapter for charging their laptop so this was a very neat way of saying thank you.

Part II next.

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