Yesterday, rode into Cusco from Abancay...125 miles on good road...great twisties leading up to a 14,500' pass before descending to Cusco & our hotel at 11,340'. Pretty exhausted...no riding today-had found stove fuel so started the the day with Dave's excellent coffee then explored the city, Incan ruins & architecture & heaven forbid...shopped. Made my back ache(don't you know) so took a break & had our 1st Starbucks! Met & talked with gringos from UK, Australia, Taiwan, Denmark & U.S.. This city is a Mecca for worldly tourists.
Cusco was the heart of the Incan empire which stretched 2,000 miles north to south with over 9MM people before the Spanish conquest. The accuracy & detail of their stone & metal work is difficult to fathom. Equally difficult to fathom is how the Spaniards penetrated 400 miles inland, wiped out the existing culture & built their own on top of these historic structures....during the same era as the Mayflower was landing at Plymouth Rock. Toured the main Incan fortress, several dramatic cathedrals before succumbing to a dinner of Alpaca steak...yum.
Rick arrived from Arequipe after an 11 hour ride, so the 3 Amigos are off to the Amazon tomorrow. Likely no wifi for a few days, but keep an eye on the Spot map for where we are at!