ON THE WAY TO OLLANTAYTAMBO

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ImageWe took a taxi from Cusco to Ollantaytambo and one stretch was so stunning, the taxi driver hearing my gasps, asked if I’d like him to pull over for a bit. “Yes, please!”

Pictures: 17OCT12. Cusco, Peru. (Canon 550D, Canon Lens EF 18-135mm)

CUSCO (Former Inca Empire)

Plaza de Armas
Plaza de Armas
La Catedral De Cuzco
La Catedral De Cuzco
The Statue of Cristo Blanco (White Christ)
The Statue of Cristo Blanco (White Christ)

Built in 1945 by Christian Palestinians who were seeking refuge in Cuzco. This is their gift of gratitude to the town of Cuzco.

Cuzco Before a Rainstorm
Cuzco Before a Rainstorm
Tucked Away in a Courtyard off of Calle Marques
Tucked Away in a Courtyard off of Calle Marques
View of Cuzco from Qoricancha
View of Cuzco from Qoricancha

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All pictures taken: OCT12. Cusco, Peru. (Canon 550D, Canon Lens EF 18-135mm)

MACHU PICCHU ON THE iPAD

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Long been a dream of mine to visit. Ever since becoming deeply engrossed in all things Celestine Prophetic from James Redfield. While here in the Cusco region, the former center of the Incan empire, I am enjoying reading “Turn Right at Machu Picchu,” by Mark Adams. Follows the trek Hiram Bingham III took in his quest to discover The Lost City of the Incas in 1911, while intermixed with Adams’ own journey to re-trace that same trek. Fantastic to read it and be here at the same time.

18OCT12. Machu Picchu, Peru. (iPAD, Instagram Lo-Fi Aspect)

COCAINE TEA!

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Not really. It is Coca tea and the Coca Plant is a major cash crop for Peru. Through a complex chemical process, yes, we arrive at the euphoric creation of cocaine. Even though the coca plant itself is negligible for causing any major effects, it is still illegal in a lot of places. Don’t think of entering the U.S. with a bag of it in your backpack. It is common for Peruvians to chew it for a bit of a buzz and enhanced energy and clarity and it is also known to counter the effects of altitude sickness. Hallelujah!
17OCT12. Ollantaytambo, Peru. (iPAD, Instagram Lo-Fi Aspect)g

BREKKIE IN CUSCO

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Coming highly recommended from many guidebooks, I had to check out Jack’s Cafe, an almost decade-old institution in Cusco. Australian-owned, it boasts a menu for everyone from carnivores to hardcore veggie-heads. On my first morning, I had the Cinnamon French Toast with fresh bananas and strawberries, along with a flavorful cappuccino. On two other mornings, I also had their Huevos Rancheros and their Scrambled Eggs with roasted tomatoes, pesto, and parmesan, on toast. Muy delicioso! Highly recommend: Jack’s Cafe, Choquechaca 509.
16OCT12. Cusco, Peru. (iPAD, Instagram Lo-Fi Aspect)

CEVICHE FROM PERU

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Archaeological records show consumption of ceviche (or cebiche or seviche) as far back as 2,000 years ago! Thought to probably have been brought to Peru by Moorish women from Granada. It’s a raw fish dish made with lemon, onion, and chili pepper. Mine was cold, citrusy, with just the right mix of pepper to give it a zing…and served with two slices of sweet potato to counteract the ‘ceviche bite.’ A must-try on a visit to Peru. Highly recommend: Don Marcelo Restaurant, Portal Belen 115, Plaza de Armas. Cusco, Peru.
15OCT12. Cusco, Peru. (iPAD Instagram, Lo- Fi Aspect)

MOST FAMOUS BEER IN PERU

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Taking after its namesake, Cusco, the former center of the Incan Empire, Cusquena is certainly not the only national beer in Peru, but it is the most popular. It is unique in that it is made from pure barley, rather than the typical corn and barley. It’s light, refreshing, and crisp.
15OCT12. Cusco,Peru. (iPAD Instagram Lo-Fi Aspect)