Thursday, April 5, 2012

Cuzco Exploration

The internet died last night in the hostel I was staying in.  Even their computers weren't working,  they were displaying a Google Chrome "we can't display this page,  sorry" message in Spanish this morning when I checked out.

I explored yesterday,  and have a few quick stories.

There are cheap massages available in Cuzco.  I opted for a more expensive one with much nicer accommodations.  My thought process in choosing to get a massage was something along the lines of, " massages in a touristy area.  Is this aboveboard?  Or are there happy endings?  Let's find out!"  No happy ending for me,  just a very,  very thorough massage.  One of the strongest I've had,  topped only by the "I'm going to beat the crap out of you" massage I had in Turkey.

The Coco plant is grown in Bolivia and Peru,  the plant leaves can be chewed,  this gives relief from altitude sickness.  The same plant is an essential ingredient in making cocaine,  so it's tough to regulate the growth of these plants,  considering that the exact same plant,  when sold legally,  gives the farmers a fraction of the income the receive if they sell it illegally for cocaine production.  In La Paz,  there is a fairly famous bar known for it's easy availability of whatever drug you might want to get.  I did not go to that bar,  and couldn't care less about drugs.  Thus,  it was a surprise to me when walking around Cuzco, a  man approached me.  Lots of people approach the tourists all the time there,  usually they're trying to sell hand made clothes.  He said "hey,  how's it going?"  which was different than the typical approach of "Hola,  amigo."  I said,  "fine,"  and then he leaned over conspiratorially and said,  "do you want some.....coke?"  Me:  "no."  Him:  "how about some joints?  I have some nice marijuana."  At this point I laughed a bit and declined his offer.  He was a bit surprised,  I think,  that I chuckled,  but he took it in stride and left me alone,  although he did greet me again later in the evening when our paths happened to cross. 

Really,  if I wanted drugs,  I could have just stayed home and walked one block from my condo on any night of the week and scored whatever it is they're selling down there. 

Ok.  That concludes my brush with vices on my South American trip.  The rest of the day was spent exploring a large set of Inca ruins within walking distance of the center of the city.  That entire area of Peru is lousy with ancient Inca ruins,  and these were nice in that they provided some interesting contrast with Cuzco so near by.

Photos, photos, and photos.  No spam.

This was fun.  It was a big natural slide,  the rocks were slippery enough to slide down.  I did that,  and had a blast.  :)

Typical Inca construction of temples.  They fitted giant rocks together in an extremely precise fashion.

Finally,  a photograph of a street scene that I'm pleased with.  This was what many,  many streets looked like that I've walked down during this trip.

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