img_0367Our first day in Cusco started out with Mo being sick. The rest of us went on the tour of the Sacred Valley. In Inca time the Sacred Valley was the center o there agricultural production. The valley was so rich and the Inca's put so much value on agriculture that they named it the img_0384Sacred Valley. In the base of the valley is the river Urabamba which the Inca's used for irrigation. What's amazing is the amount of terraces the Inca's built and what's even more amazing is how many are still there on the hillside. They converted as much land as possible for agricultural use. All the cities were built on land that hadimg_0365 very little agricultural value. Quite contrary to how we live. We live on the best land and try to farm what's left. Part of the tour was to go to the Pisac indigenous market where we bought many gifts for the folks back home. We also go to see the ruins there above the city. When the Spanish took over they moved the Incas from the city of Pisac on the top of the mountain to the valley floor because it was easier for them to collect taxes. Funny that they moved an entire city so the tax man didn't have to climb the hill. The ruins of Pisac reminded me a lot of the pictures of Machu Picchu but more modest. The climb up the mountain to the ruins was quite painful considering the altitude. It's really hard to breath at 11,000 ft. The trail to the ruins was a 2-3 foot wide rock staircase a couple hundred feet above the valley floor. Q

uite unnerving it was. We also visited Ollantaytambo another Incan city where they quarried the rocks from the top of the mountain across a valley. They transported rocks that weighed up to 40,000 pounds down the side of one mountain and back up the other side to the city. If I were an Incan I would have built the city where the rocks were.

Before the day was out we'd reached 12,500 feet above sea level. I don't have too much of a problem with altitudes of up to 10,000 ft outside of a slight headache but once I get above that it starts to get really hard to breath and I tire fast. It's a strange feeling to become exhausted after climbing 6 or 7 stairs.

We returned and Mo was feeling much better. For dinner Jade and I ate Alpaca at a Let's Go recommended restaurant in San Blas square called Pachapapa which was quite good.

Tomorrow we do the City tour. I really signed up for it to save me time in getting around. There really was only two things on it that I was interested in - Coricancha and the Inca wall outside the city used for the Inti Rama celebration. The tour only cost $10 and lasts about 4 hrs so I figured what the heck, we'll take the tour.