Day 3 – Early morning flight to Cuzco at 10,909 elevation where the primary industry is tourism. On our way down into the Sacred Valley of the Incas, our bus detoured off the main road for several spontaneous “discoveries.” At one stop Walter invited a little boy to come on board and asked him questions about his school (he had to walk an hour each way) and his family. At the end of our conversation the boy said, “Welcome people. Thank you for visiting us.” What composure!
Walter pointed our Ulaipo Lake where Indians told the Spanish conquistadors that a chain of gold was placed; “aym” is the reciprocity of different families working together on their land to help each other; generally, small communities consist of 200 residents with a President; Incas worshiped and sacrificed llamas; and if there is a stick with a red balloon in front of a house, it means that “chicha”, a local corn-brewed beer, is being served.
Our second discovery happened when we all piled out of the bus to see a 2 story house with windows and doors being built of adobe with supports made of eucalyptus wood. If the builder doesn’t make the bricks himself, he can buy 5 bricks for one sol. Natural ventilation preserves food in the dry atmosphere.