Cusco, Peru, August 12, 2003 — Day 66 was my birthday! Go me, go me, go me! We celebrated first at a bar with a couple of Brit friends we had made along the way, then had dinner at the Inka Grill, one of the nicest restaurants in Cusco. I finally had the guts to dine on cuy (aka guinea pig), but I wasn’t brave enough to try it the traditional way (aka with the head still on). Sherri was justifiably very proud of herself because she managed in Spanish to arrange ahead of time for the restaurant to bring a cake decorated with my age, indicated by a 2 and a superscript 5 (yes, I turned 32, 2 to the 5th power). The photos from the day kind of suck, but it was a great birthday.
Cusco, Peru, August 2, 2003 — We spent day 56 mostly running errands and preparing for our next 2 expeditions, first to the Peruvian jungle (the Manu Biosphere Reserve) and then on to Machu Picchu. Along the way, we ran into some fun photo opportunities, including a women’s basketball game in an outdoor court with seating that resembled the terraced mountainside farms the Incas developed, as well as a mannequin with a gold grill.
The Sacred Valley, Peru, July 31, 2003 — After having spent the day before at travel agents to book our tour of Machu Picchu, we were somehow convinced that we should also take a bus tour of the Sacred Valley, a series of sites and towns around Cusco that have important Incan ruins, etc. It turned out to be a decent way to see lots of places in one day and learn a little bit along the way from our very odd tour guide. But it was mostly a way to get tourists to visit markets all over the region. Clearly our inexpensive tour was subsidized by kickbacks or other “incentives”. Since we weren’t really in a shopping mood, I focused much more on photography, with an emphasis on the the women who ran the markets dressed mostly in traditional clothing.
Cusco, Peru, July 30, 2003 — We arrived in the beautiful city of Cusco on Day 53 of our trip. Cusco is a great little tourist town, and it’s the jumping off point for Machu Picchu and Peru’s Sacred Valley of amazing Incan ruins and other sites.
Back in 2003, digital photo technology was still new to me. And it was hard to figure out what to do with all the photos I took when traveling around the world with only a bit more than 2gb in memory cards (plus a Mac Book). Flash cards were not cheap then and things like cloud storage were non-existent (not that we had access to fast Internet much of the time). Sometimes problems occurred. Photos were burned to CDs (I don’t know if DVD burners were around then, but we certainly didn’t have one.) Then they were mailed to my brother Jeff for safe keeping. Turns out some of those DVDs had corrupt files. So, long story short, only two photos remain from Day 53 and one of those is a low res JPG. Nevertheless, it’s the better shot of the two.
I present it here….Cusco’s main square, the Plaza de Armas and the Church of la Compana de Jesus: