Most tourists spend only a day or two in Cusco as a transit point before moving on to Machu Picchu. If they travel on to the Sacred Valley, it’s often in a quick day trip. We took our time, and it was magic. Why magic? We saw wonderful things on our travels, but often we don’t understand what we’re seeing. Part of the joy of travel is trying to interpret what we’ve seen and to learn how it all fits into understanding the complexities of the new places we’re in.
We visited the studio of the late Cusco sculptor, Edilberto Mérida, with our cousins, Susie and Tom. His subjects are mostly peasants with large feet and hands. We made our own very small purchase on the visit: a small clay hand.
Cusco is an old city, and when you walk it, it’s easy to discover old byways that haven’t changed in centuries.
We’ve now seen many processions and parades and rarely know what they are celebrating. They’re always grand and worthy of trying to get our best photographs.
On our drive through the Sacred Valley, we passed a small town with several “fast food” stops for their signature dish, cuy (guinea pig). We didn’t stop to eat, but loved their statue.
There’s never a shortage of architectural details to photograph. At the end of a long hike we walked by a house right on the road and admired the simple exterior.
Maybe you can help with an explanation for why we would see a shell, that looked to us like a sea shell, on a rock at almost 11,000’ elevation, far from any body of water? We can only guess that it must be a snail’s shell.
There was a visual richness in Cusco and the Sacred Valley. Everywhere we turned we wanted to take a photograph and try to understand what we were seeing. This is why we travel.