Jan 15th 2011
Saqsaywaman (pronounced sexy woman)
One mile from Cusco, on the top of a hill, the remains and foundations of a colossal structure are found. Saqsaywaman or Sacsaywaman means “Satiate Falcon”. It was built over 77yrs (1431-1508) under the rule of the Inca. The Spaniards used the site as a quarry to build a cathedral, a number of temples and house and ended up dismantling most of the temple. The stones are cut and positioned with razor sharp precision and the largest weighs about 70tons.
We decided to take a taxi up and the guy seemed to give us a great deal, only 10 soles. As we drove up he said that he would wait for us for an hour and a half if we paid 20 soles. Absolutely, this guy was great…
The view was spectacular, Mark tried to get close to some Alpacas and came very close to being spat at. Due to breathing I wasn’t able to climb to the top and so just relaxed in the sun and took a nap, until a local tour guide decided to come and chat (most likely fishing for work). But it was pleasant enough. The boys ran around all over the temple and also went up the hill to where a replica of the Rio Christ overlooked the city. They were as happy as pigs in mud.
Scammed and Sick!
We finally met up again and found our taxi driver. And headed back down the hill. When we got to the plaza, our driver announced his deception “20 soles…per perosn”. I was really mad but was feeling really crappy so tried to argue and then gave up. Next time I need to remember to ask is that the total, before getting in. The boys chose a place to eat overlooking the main square and promptly ordered beer and burgers. I went to the bathroom and promptly threw up all my breakfast. It appears as if the sun combined with the altitude was a very bad combination. I drank some water said my farewells and good luck (they had the start of the Inca trail the next day), and staggered back home.
Sent to bed
When I walked in the door, Wilson the hostel manager, took one look at me and sent me straight to bed. I managed to have a quick shower and proceeded to pass out into oblivion. I believe at one point someone new came into the room and at another point I heard Wilson go “Kate?” (what he called me) and I replied with a weak “Si”, he walked off saying something like “ok you still alive”. Oh what an afternoon.
After about 3hrs of pure exhaustion, I started to feel a wee bit better and sat up to check email on my little netbook. My new neighbor walked in and asked how I was. His name was Guillamo (William) from Spain, he was on vacation from studying physical education. Tomorrow morning he was leaving for the Inca Trail, then Puno and Lake Titicaca and then onto the salt flats in Bolivia. We fell into an immediate comfortable discussion and after a few topics he said “With your travel lifestyle it must be hard to find a husband or boyfriend”, I stuttered a little and tried to explain and he help up his hands and said it was ok. About 10minutes later he stopped again and said “Maybe you will find your prince on this trip”… I think I swooned! He was cute, polite and there was an ease about talking with him.
When he got frustrated with trying to shove all his stuff in his bag, I came over and with a few adjustments managed to get everything in easily. He had to head out and drop off his stuff with the tour agency and I went to scavenge for left over bread in the kitchen. I met Logan, our American roommate, he was hoping to head off and do the Inca trail alone and had some fascinating stories of where he had been already. I found bread and strawberry jam and he produced some peanut butter for the makings of a feast. We saved some for Guillamo and when he got back chose a movie and relaxed. Logan was busy downstairs on the computer so Guillamo and I watched Fight Club. we were super comfortable on the couch and the personal bubble space didn’t seem to cause any issues. At one point we were both lying with our heads almost touching. There was definately some attraction, but no time to explore.
At bed time he asked to set my alarm as well just in case and we chatted a bit before he got up to switch off the light (wearing only a pair of Calvin Kline white undies). In the morning as he headed out, I woke up and said cheers, as he left he said “I hope you find your prince” and then he was gone, no photo no info, I know I swooned this time and had good dreams when I fell asleep again.
Coming up next is an intense tour day around the Sacred Valley.