Day 7 - Cuzco, Chinchero, Guinea Pig and Walking Tour - April 2, 2003

We had no wake up call but at 6:15 the phone rang for Lucretia!!! One day we can sleep in and we have a wrong number. We got up at 7 and then showered and got ready for the day.

We had breakfast in their very nice dining room and then were ready to leave at 9 AM. We traveled by bus with Juan, our driver, to Chinchero (at about 12,000 ft.) where we were treated to a private Quechua weaving demonstration.

Today's Quechua Indians maintain a culture essentially unchanged from the days of the Incas. They still use the back-strap loom. The Grand Circle Foundation funds local efforts to revive this disappearing tradition.

We then enjoyed a lunch of guinea pig, potatoes, rice, potatoes, vegetables, potatoes, and bean in the home of the family that runs the weaving workshop. It was not bad, but again, the high carbo meal was difficult.

We then were driven back to Cuzco and had about 30 minutes to relax before the walking tour of the city of Cuzco, believed by the Incas to be "the belly button of the world" - the source of all life-as well as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

We left the Hotel Jose Antonio at 2:30 to go to the original Inca Qoricancha Sun Temple that had been rebuilt by the Spanish into a monastery. The interior walls were once covered in gold leaf, and studded with emeralds and turquoise.

After the Sun Temple we walked to the 16th century cathedral at the city center. We were given a guided tour of the area and then went to San Blas to see the artisans shops.

There was not much there, so a group of us walked back to the center and went to have a pizza dinner at Morengo Pizza. Dinner was very good and we had a good time with the 7 of us. We then walked back home through the main street. People were still coming back from work at 7 PM.

We got back to the room, wrote the journal and processed the pictures while we watched Peru vs Chile on the TV - while at the restaurant, the staff was avidly watching the game - it is very important to them. We then went to send the e-mails to our family and friends.

Hotel: Jose Antonio Meals: B, L, D

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