Saturday, September 13, 2008

Horse Riding and Saqsaywaman

Jueves, 11 Septiembre

We started off at about 9am to where we were picking up our horses. When we got there and everyone was mounted, we started off on the journey across some hills and fields. Of course, as luck would have it, I got the biggest horse and he had a mind of his own and kept wanting to wander off on his own or get to the head of the line. He was an impatient fella. After about 30 or 40 mins of riding, we got to the top where we met the bus to take us on the short trip to Tambomachay.

Tambomachay (from Quechua: tambo machay, resting place) is an archaeological site associated with the Inca Empire, located near Cusco, Peru. An alternate local name is the El Baño del Inca, "The Bath of the Inca". It consists of a series of aqueducts, canals and waterfalls that run through the terraced rocks. The function of the site is uncertain: it may have served as a military outpost guarding the approaches to Cusco, as a spa resort for the Incan political elite, or both (taken from Wiki). We wandered around for a little while and took lots of photos before heading to Pukapukara which is another archeaological site.

From there it was on to lunch at Los Perros which had the yummiest Tapas! Definitely making another trip back there to try out some of the other goodies on the menu. After lunch, we went back to the top to visit Saqsaywaman (pronounced as Sexy Woman!) where we spent the rest of the afternoon. We walked through the darkest passage I've ever been in. It was really dark inside and we had to hold on to the backs of each other so we didn't get lost. We also had a go on these slidey thingies.. not sure what they were. Also, the large field between the walls of the fortress is a major site of celebrations for the Peruvians for the Inti Raymi festival each year on June 24th.

Another little tid bit from Wiki...
Some believe the walls were a form of fortification, while others believe it was only used to form the head of the Puma that Sacsayhuamán along with Cuzco form when seen from above. Like much Inca stonework, there is still mystery surrounding how they were constructed. The structure is built in such a way that a single piece of paper will not fit between many of the stones. This precision, combined with the rounded corners of the limestone blocks, the variety of their interlocking shapes, and the way the walls lean inward, is thought to have helped the ruins survive devastating earthquakes in Cuzco. The longest of three walls is about 400 meters. They are about 6 meters tall. Estimated volume of stone is over 6,000 cubic meters. The largest limestone block is estimated at 128 tonnes.

Rest of the photos are here...

Next stop.... Lake Titicaca !

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Really Happy to know that you are enjoying your Trip to Peru..