Blake here. After our unfortunate bout of food poisoning, we are spending a few days in the marvelous city of Cusco recuperating and exploring what is the longest continuously inhabited city in all the Americas. Legend has it that the first Inca, Manco Capac, emerged from the waters of Lake Titicaca and founded the city after driving a Golden staff into `the navel of the world` History here is everywhere, from the colonial churches and plazas scattered through the old town to the massive Inca walls which form the foundations of many buildings and are still visible as you walk the cobblestone streets. We bought our ridiculously overpriced boletos touristicos which give us access to many of the museums in town and the archaeological sites that are scattered throughout the sacred valley surrounding Cusco and have spent the last few days immersed in the fascinating history, both pre-Columbian and colonial, of this wonderful city.
While we weren't feeling up to Quyor Riti due to our illness, it turns out that we don`t need to go to 15,000 feet to see some seriously awesome traditional dancing. Everyday since we have arrived there have been a steady stream of dance troupes from various villages and (interestingly) universities decked out in the most amazing traditional costumes in the main Plaza de Armas in the center of town. The dancers are amazing and the dances are very entertaining - full of symbolic meaning which we don't understand. Sometimes they are very formal, sometimes they are dressed like campesinos, sometimes like crazy, colorful devils. It is everything we hoped to see at Quyor Riti but without another 3,000 feet in elevation gain. Today we are looking forward to a procession of saint statues to welcome Corpus Christi in the main square.
Over the last two days, we have spent the day at two or three museums/cathedrals/tourist sites. We have visited the following sites and enjoyed them all: