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October 24, Cusco


We head north-west through the Andean highlands in Peru.







The somewhat bleak aspect of a town in the high plateau.






Searching for a washroom, we found this nice-looking place closed. Not much business, it seems.










We found drinks in a little store on the corner, but no washroom.









Finally, a gas station. 








With washrooms.







The school.








The gas station owner felt we should take a photo of this abandoned car. We’re not sure why.






In Cusco we stayed across from the church of Santo Domingo, built on the foundations of the Inca Coricancha temple. The Incas covered the walls with sheets of pure gold, and decorated the temple with many statues of gold, as well as an entire garden crafted out of gold. The wall covering alone yielded a ton and half of pure gold to the Spanish looters.








Loreto Street, a typical pedestrian walk in the historic centre of Cusco. The base of these walls is the original Inca construction. Subsequent buildings were damaged by earthquakes, but the Inca walls have stood firm. The building on the right was originally the Inca temple of the virgins. 








Cusco is the oldest continuously inhabited city in the western hemisphere, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Subsequent layers of civilizations can be seen in this little “condor corner”.






The streets of downtown Cusco are narrow and picturesque. Cusco is considered the cradle of Peru, and its name comes from the Quechua word meaning the navel of the world.




















Bata headquarters are in Toronto, and here’s a store in Cusco.







Despite all the cultural wealth, this is the face of social reality in much of Latina America. Some 60% of the population of Cusco live in poverty.









The church of San Pedro.







The cathedral and main square, Plaza de Armas. That’s what a great many of the colonial main squares in Latin America are called.













Named after the famed British motorcycle, the Norton Rat’s Pub is an unlikely name to find on the wall in Loreto Street in the middle of Cusco.









But this US-run biker bar is a fun place nevertheless.






Which looks out over the main square and the cathedral.







The young lady who sold Madeleine the oversize, and gaudy, running shoes. More on that later.