Now that Jeff and his camera are home, and I´ve got internet time while he´s writing up his experiences in Choquequirau, I´ll get some of the pictures up of the places I talked about in my Wednesday post (http://astrojeffandkate.blogspot.com/2010/08/party-time-in-kates-digestive-and-upper.html).
These are the agricultural experimentation terraces - I like that Incan experiments were so pretty.
And big. Jeff´s in the middle of the circles - waaaaay down there:
The famous Incan staircases, proving that the Incans had really long legs, even though they were short:
On our way from one site to the other that day, we had to get through a few traffic jams. Here´s one, through the rear window:
Salinas, the salt harvesting valley:
There was one person harvesting while we were there:
Me, for scale. I´m walking along the aqueduct that brings the water from the spring to all the salt ponds:
On our way out, we were treated to a pretty sunset over a beautiful landscape:
While I was finishing up my paper and presentation, Jeff took an afternoon to get some pictures of Cusco and it´s architecture. The city is built on the remains of the capital of the Incan empire, so there´s still some Incan stonework walls left at the base of some buildings, wherever the Spaniards didn´t deem it sacrelidge.
The walls are incredible. No mortar, just huge stones cut very precisely to fit together - at least, they were done that carefully for the palaces of the Incan kings. There´s one rock that´s especially famous, since it´s got many corners, each with a perfectly fitting rock tucked in:
Some people for scale:
Of course, after a lot of the impressive stonework had been destroyed by the conquistadors, someone realized that it was actually pretty cool, so they decided to repair it:
Nice try, guys...
Also, a few pictures from last weekend´s trip to Tipon. Tipon was the terraced gardens with channels of water running through:
Jeff got to wash up a bit in the regular people´s shower:
The Incan king´s shower, however, was chained off, but our guide got our picture in front of it. That´s Sarah, our roommate, on the left.
And finally, what blog post that has pictures from me is complete without a few what-the-heck pictures?
First, the traffic in Cusco ain´t just sheep and cattle, so they need traffic cops. Most traffic cops are normal looking police officers. This one wanted to make sure everyone knew she was a she, not just a cop:
Nice chaps, ma´am, and those high heels must be great for chasing the bad guys. At least she´s got a gun. We´ve noticed that many of the women police officers here, traffic or otherwise, don´t have guns as often as the men. So there.
And finally, local elections are coming up in a couple months, so there are people driving around with loudspeakers a lot, and signs. I can´t get over some of the signs. Anybody seen the movie Dogma? Buddy Christ? Neh?
Just for a little unnecessary background - papa means potato, but papá means - well, papa, as in dad. Quite the little play on words. These signs really confused me at first, since there´s always a little cartoon at the bottom with an x through it, like this guy´s potato cartoons - on one candidate´s sign, they have a picture of bread crossed out, another has a picture of a shovel crossed out, and another has a condor crossed out. At first, I was wondering what they had against potatoes, bread, shovels, and condors, and then I realized that the ballots have symbols for people to check if they can´t read the names. Duh. Anyway, it brings a little smile to my face when I see these pictures of creepy, smiling, thumbs-up politicians and their crossed-out foodstuffs.
And there you are. This will be my last post from South America, I assume, since tomorrow is our last full day, and Sunday we fly out at 2 pm. -Sniff!- Two and a half months seemed like such a long time when I booked the trip. Now I can´t believe how much I haven´t seen yet. More adventures await future trips!