I’m jumping ahead to our last day traveling in Peru. P and I were fortunate enough to have some time in Cuzco before our afternoon flight back to Lima. We had finished our Inca Trail adventure the previous day and were still feeling exhausted but this was not enough to deter us from walking around in downtown Cuzco. For no other reason than it’s simplicity, Cuzco is my favourite spot in Peru. Perhaps it was due to the morning calm and the cool weather or perhaps it was because P and I were meandering aimlessly throughout a city we did not think we’d have time to see. With absolutely no direction or purpose we set out on Cuzco, and it was fantastic.
It was early morning and so most shops and attractions were either closed or just opening up for the day. After four days trekking through the mountains our legs were sore and we were tired, and we did not realize how hilly Cuzco was before we set out. We walked down narrow roads and peeked down alleyways to find hidden art – a Peruvian playing a pan flute, for example, we entered central plazas to find Viva El Peru carved into the side of a mountain, we darted down side streets to find gated, but seemingly forgotten ruins of Qorikancha from the Inca civilization. This was a city with heart.
The country’s Catholic religion was as evident in Cuzco as in Lima. The plazas were littered with beautiful cathedrals, crucifixes, religious symbols and other architectural elements honouring their numerous Saints. The Peruvians also honour their Incan ancestors with a giant statue of the Inca warrior King Pachacuteq. The statue rests on a pedestal in the centre of a fountain that was, at least on our trip, filled with people.
When we finished walking around the central plazas of Cuzco we headed back to our hostel and collected our belongings. We met our cab and headed to the airport. We were on our way back to Canada – or so we thought.