Here was a cold blustery Saturday in the historic city of Cusco in Peru. At 11,000 feet, the air is spare and bracing, but not for everyone. They keep oxygen at the airport and in every hotel,for those who need it (people do).The city is in the middle of a valley surrounded by mountains. As the plane comes down, the feeling of familiarity intensifies. The city looks and feels exactly like Bhutan, despite being on the other side of the world.
The streets are narrow and steep, and lined by cobblestones. You need to
skip out to the high footpath each time an Alto goes by (Suzuki seems to
have good sales here). If two cross each other, one has to squeeze itself
flat against the kerb (yes, the streets are two way, but one Alto and one
llama facing each other is what the two way can handle).The cathedral in
the main square was rain drenched, but was still thronged with
worshippers. The clouds and sunshine chased each other, around the little
park in the middle, and the shops round the square (Inca silver, Inca
pottery, Inca shawls, alpaca and llama woolens). The school children were
going home, the little girl had a big smile.
The hotel was old and full of antiques and atmosphere. There was a steep
staircase and a courtyard full of plants, and a terrific view from the
terrace. The drawing room had a fire-place, the internet and coca leaf tea.
The staff was truly sweet. What more could one ask for? It was too short a
trip, one could ask to go again, if Pacha Mama so wills!
This blog post is by Neelima Gupte and Sumathi Rao.