Cusco, the most popular city in Peru, is famous for its Incan history and extreme elevation. Sitting at 11,600 feet, many people have problems adjusting to this altitude and sometimes get altitude sickness if not properly prepared for. Living in Reno, at the elevation 4,505 ft, gave me a huge advantage over my parents, who live in Palmer, AK at just 233 ft. My papa was the only one who ended up not feeling well for a few days, the rest of us just drank Coca tea, known to help with altitude sickness, and took altitude pills that we obtained before the trip.
Peru has the highest cities in the world, the highest sitting in the Peruvian Andes, La Rinconada at 16,732. Cusco’s, with literal meaning “rock of the owl”, being in the top 10. Cusco is situated in valley of the mountains, which causes most of the roads to be extremely steep and narrow (as seen below). Cusco’s architecture, which involved a lot of color, and streets were one of my most favorite parts to photograph in Peru. I will be posting a blog later just about Peruvian architecture.
I need to fair warn you if you ever visit, taking a taxi in Peru is an adventure in itself. As you can see in the above photograph the one way streets are extremely narrow, and often with buildings on each side. Taxi drivers have NO FEAR when it comes to driving. A lot of honking and yelling will become involved. So hold on and maybe close your eyes because you will be in for a roller coaster. Unfortunately the streets in Cusco are not marked very well either in regards to which ones are one way, so best bet is to take a taxi, because driving on your own would just be a complete nightmare.
One thing you can’t get to much of in Peru is their wide array of fresh fruit and vegetables. There was fruit I have not even heard of that mixed many of our fruits together. In Peru there are not many grocery stores, so locals will bring their produces, meats, and cheeses out every day to sell them. Each will have a table set up and individuals in the family will take turn staying at the table. Peru’s culture revolves around their family and the importance that each bring in helping the family survive.
Ok, I am going to need to stop continuing on this post now, but there will be more soon on Peruvian Culture and this amazing trip!