More Inca Sights

The next two days became a blur of numerous Inca sights.  We rode in a comfortable bus for eight hours traveling from Puno to Cusco.  The high Andean landscape of brown hills changed as our elevation dropped down toward 8,000 ft.  Vegetation changed from short scrub and grain crops to cacti and spindly trees to lush valleys and cropland.  We were met at some view stops by colorfully dressed native children, lamas and more handcrafts for sale.   Who can resist giving the kids a sol (30cents) to have them pose for a picture? 

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The lamas, alpacas and adults were worthy pictures, too.

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Amazingly terraced hillsides were frequently seen.  Most of these date back from the times of the Inca.  The labor involved is hard to imagine.  The stonework we saw so often was also hard to imagine being done back in the fifteenth century with no iron implements.  Master craftsmanship and engineering skill have preserved these feats through earthquakes and time.

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Just outside Cusco lies The Sacred Valley which was the center of the Inca world.  

It is a lush area dotted with historical ruins.

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To hear the haunting notes of a  solitary flute echoing off terraced hills creates an awesome ambiance.

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To see huge stones precisely joined by hands so long ago is equally awesome.

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