Keep Your Eye Out for Hummingbirds
In the Sacred Valley, hummingbirds are common. They enjoy feeding on brightly colored flowers, usually those exhibiting reds or purples. The Spanish word for hummingbird is "picaflora", which means "prick flower". In Peru, the word for hummingbird is also used for a man who jumps from woman to woman. Appropriate, no?
This hummingbird phot was taken at our hotel in Urubamba.
The Incans were obsessed with coca leaves. And they still are. Coca is a way of life like having a latte in the morning.
The traditional coca ceremony goes something this... You take three coca leaves of similar size. Organize them into a fan shape with the biggest leaf in the middle. Fold the leaves horizontally, then vertically. Put them in your mouth and chew. The chemcials will be slowly released. The physical act is less important than the spiritual significance. So you should perform the ceremony in a quiet, peaceful place.
Coca leaves will have different effect on people. I didn't feel anything the first couple of times I tried it. I suspect if you keep doing it, you'll feel something.
The Tipon inca ruins make a very nice half day or day excursion from Cusco. To get there you take a collectivo (catch a taxi and ask driver to take you to Tipon collectivo). The town of Tipon is about 25 km (past San Jeronimo), but it takes almost an hour via collectivo. At Tipon stop, there will be taxi's waiting which can take you to the Tipon ruins. It cost us s/8 round trip for taxi and s/8 to have driver wait for you (highly recommended). What I liked about Tipon is that it is rarely visited, and there are virtually no tourists, only locals. No vendors. No facilities except bathrooms. It cost about s/6 to get in the park.There are beautiful terraces with many water irrigation channels. It is a great place for a picnic. It is believed this area was once used for experiemental agriculture. You can easily see the ruins in an hour, but it is a great place just to relax. Once back in Tipon, there are many restaurants specializing in coya al horno, baked guinea pig. Try it!
Coricancha siege museum
Just below the Coricancha is this little archeological museum, not often visited. I entered as it is inckuded in the Boleto Turístico, and I had already bought it for some Inca ruins outside Cuzco, so I had to use it.
Is not a Top5 museum here in Cuzco but has got some interesting sights and is rather small. You exit the museum by the grass field in front of the Coricancha and can have a walk by the ruins then.
after nearly a year on the road the best breakfast
there is something for everyone here, it says that it is the only alpaca speciallist in cusco, and the steaks are really something else compared to other alpaca experiences we have had. we only went in to use the wi fi in the morning, but ended up having the best breakfast for nearly a year and stayed all day in the bar section watching nfl all day sunday. their sunday ticket is a bit limited but they do get 3 matches at 12 and 3 at 3, and all 3 are on different tvs. in the evening i had an alpaca sirloin and sharon had crispy aromatic guinea pig and both dishes were presented like a 5 star restaurant. it was a shame we couldnt come back the next sunday but we had to go to bolivia to meet some friends. favourite dish in the morning was the "unhealthy breakfast" thats what its called. the owner was telling me that he makes his own sausages and constantly looks for better bacon. but it was massive and very tasty and we didnt have to eat again until dinner