Sunday, December 19, 2010

Puno to Cusco bus ride - Inca Express

I decided that rather than torturing myself with another really long bus journey I would break it up a bit and do some touristy things along the way. This was a really good idea. I saw some stunning countryside, a church lined in gold, an inca adobe wall still intact after goodness knows how many years, petted an alpaca lamb of 5 days (so soft!) ate alpaca steak immediately afterwards and finally arrived in Cusco which is really beautiful as well.

The arch leading to Peru from Bolivia

The church in Pucara

An adobe house with two bulls on the top which are supposed to bring fertility and prosperity

Inside the church in Pucara

A really high pass on the way

Me and the fluffiest alpaca I have ever seen

The five day old alpaca, it was as tall as my waist

A falcon

The inca wall in Raqchi, the mini roofs have been added recently to protect the wall. When building with adobe it was the tradition of the Aymara to add vegetal matter to the mix. There are a lot of cacti in this area and the addition of this to the adobe brick mix meant that it acted as a gum and therefore protected the adobe from rain water. Also it is interesting that the inca built out of adobe at all. They are famous for their stone structures, but here they were meeting the border of the Aymara people that stretch into Bolivia so a combination of materials was used.

On the left are storage round buildings. The Inca were not stupid and stored food here to sell to people in remote parts of the Andes where food was scarce

You can kind of imagine the size of the original structure. The central wall is the part that has been left.

This unimpressive church in Andahuaylillas is absolutely covered in gold and beautiful paintings inside. We were not allowed to take photos so you will have to imagine it. This is part of a very rich trading route to Potosi and beyond which was used by the Spanish.

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