Peru: Cusco, Sacsayhuaman, and Pisac


Flying from the humid coastal jungles of Panama to the high altitude and cold of Cuso Peru was a bit of a shock for my system. Cusco is located at ~11,500 feet altitude and there are 40% fewer oxygen molecules per breathe. So for the first few days I didn’t do much beyond slowly walk around the city, drink copious amounts of water and coco tea, and wonder what the hell ancient people were thinking when they decided to live here. Seriously!!! I like jogging up the stairs or jumping around, but not when it feels like my heart is going to explode and I can’t talk because I’m so winded. Did you know this is the continent’s oldest continuously inhabited city? Maybe it was just super defensible because half the attacking army coming up from the valleys would die during the march or not be able to swing a sword or throw a spear due to lack of oxygen. I can’t believe the Spanish were able to conquer this place.

Rose and Steve made it into town last week and we went up to the ruins above Cusco (Sacsayhuaman), we didn’t go in as the tourist tickets are way too expensive (we didn’t have enough cash). Peru is gouging the crap out of people. It was $28 USD just to go in plus it included 3 other places that you might go too, or you pay ~$60 bucks for a ticket to a lot of places. But the shitty thing is it is only good for 2 or 10 days, and some places you can’t even buy a solo ticket if you wanted too.

Yesterday we did a big trip to Pisac to go to the market and do a big hike above the city. Most of the pictures are of the amazing ruins there. It was a pretty tough climb but worth it. Once again the ticket was ridiculous and they wouldn’t take our slightly old student cards. In Peru you are only a student if you are under 25… We ended up bribing the guard $28 USD to let the 3 of us in, instead of the listed price of $28 USD each…

Things not to do when you are living at ~12,000 feet:

1. Get your hair buzzed, then wear a visor with no top. It results in a bad sun burn on the top of your head despite thick hair.
2. Move quickly, your heart/lungs might explode.
3. Hangovers are 100x worse, don’t get one.
4. Try to play any type of instrument involving air. Peruvian kids trying to sell flutes at the top of mountains need to move their marketing to the bottom of the mountain. Or carry mini oxygen cans around.

Things to do when you are living at ~12,000 feet:

1. Drink, my drinking efficiency is equal to a small asian woman. I have a couple Pisco Sours and I can’t walk straight, it’s fantastic.
2. Eat lots of carbs, it helps with the altitude so I’m eating my weight in bread daily.
3. Eat fruit and veggies. I’ve had the best avocados, mangos, and oranges I’ve ever had in my life. They beat hawaii, florida, thailand, egypt, etc. Plus they are huge!

I’m taking Spanish lessons too which have actually gone pretty well. I’m terrible at languages but so far I seem to be picking up a few things here and there. For example I can recognize that everyone keeps saying I’m tall (alto!).

What else?
– I haven’t been able to run yet because of altitude/cold, but that is probably good as there are a ton of dogs around. Looking forward to sea level!
– Peruvians are super nice and chill. This is a huge tourist town but they are not too pushy and pretty respectful. Really digging it.
– Internet is a bit slow, I can do voice and all my work but sometimes voice isn’t perfect. And it went down once late at night for a few hours, as well as my backup 3g connection. At which point I went into shock.

I think that it for now!

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This is bwb’s personal blog so he can share his thoughts with the world, however scary or silly they might be. Plus family and friends can track what I am up too, and where I am in the world.

I am pretty simple. I love Mangos. I love the ocean, although mostly at sunset as I’m a ginger. I love to travel, eat exotic food, read, and use my imagination. I love creating and developing ideas into businesses, understanding how all businesses work, and building cool stuff. I am a globalist and see the entire world as my responsibility and playground. And, I am married to an amazing woman who makes life even more fun :)! And, we are now the proud parents of Calico Jack :).