Archive for the ‘Traveling traveling’ Category

You know how it is. Winter is just getting over and we got that itch to go somewhere, we do not like Florida like a lot of other old birds and can’t stand the idea of forced community of cruise ships so we stay home and dream. Dream, dream, dream about our next vacation. “Bessy Marie,” said Olga one evening as they sat in their chairs snoozing, “I just had a dream we were on vacation and I don’t remember if I asked where are we?” “Well I can’t help you with that,” chuckled Bessy Marie, “as I don’t care to get in your head as I have enough in my own. Besides we are not traveling anywhere until June when we go back up north.” Cabin fever was getting to the gals and the itch to go somewhere was stronger each day. Scratch all around it in a circle and maybe it will stop. No deal the itch got worse. Remember the time when we had the same old itch and we got out your world map and threw a dart at it and from there we went traveling if only in our minds and in our writing. Why yes now that could be fun lets do it again. Out came the map and dart an Bessy Marie chose the long straw so she got to throw. The dart stuck right into Israel. Let’s show the folks reading this where we stand.

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A country that destroys peoples homes among many other war crimes is not our idea of a country we would want to visit.

Today we mourn the loss of Rachel Corrie who died trying to protect a Palestinian family’s home.

For decades, Israel has been accused of using home demolitions as a tool to control the Palestinian population in the occupied territories. Israel approves less than two percent of all requests for building permits submitted by Palestinians, and then razes the homes and shops that lack one. In recent months, Israel has also ramped up its policy of punitive demolitions – destroying the family homes of suspected Palestinian attackers – despite the practice being labelled a war crime.

For more on this go to the excellent site HERE.

“Nope,” said Olga, “now I am one big queer and I am  not traveling to any land where the persecution of an entire group of people is sanctioned. ( 1 ) I fully support the BDS movement and will continue to speak out in support of it. If any of our readers do not know what the BDS movement is go to HERE. 

Better throw again Bessy Marie and try to hit somewhere interesting.”

…..and Bessy Marie threw again and the dart stuck right into Peru. So off we go on a new adventure to somewhere we have never been. We will have to ask Juan a cleaner that we know all about his home country.

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Peru, land of Inca’s, land of gold, land where lamas dwell, land of colorful headgear and stunning ponchos, land of mountains so high and air so thin, land of conquistadors, The Shinning Path, from which came so many of our friends who now reside here. So let’s go, let’s go if even in our mind. Let’s make out our travel plans as we do our books when we go go go.

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Let’s start our journey with those who lived in the land way before the Spaniards came in search of gold and destroyed whatever they wanted to in that search. The last emperor of the Incas Atahualpa. We find from our search, (yes we always prepare ourselves before we travel) this:  From 1527 to 1532, brothers Huáscar and Atahualpa fought over the Inca Empire. Their father, Inca Huayna Capac, had allowed each to rule a part of the Empire as regent during his reign: Huáscar in Cuzco and Atahualpa in Quito. When Huayna Capac and his heir apparent, Ninan Cuyuchi, died in 1527 (some sources say as early as 1525), Atahualpa and Huáscar went to war over who would succeed their father. ( 3 )

What neither man knew was that a far greater threat to the Empire was approaching: ruthless Spanish conquistadors hungry for gold and more gold led by Francisco Pizarro.

On August 29, 1533, the emperor was tied to a stake and offered the choice of being burned alive or strangled by garrote if he converted to Christianity. In the hope of preserving his body for mummification, Atahualpa chose the latter, and an iron collar was tightened around his neck until he died.

Well said Olga that sure is a sad story. You know those Europeans were some very ruthless people when they hungered for something be it gold, slaves, land or whatever else they were lacking. We know one thing that the Europeans were lacking was decent sewage and water systems. To tell it like it should be told, they stank. We learned this about the Inca: The Inca were one of, if not the best, builders of aqueducts, building them to redirect water from the mountain lakes and rivers to desert patches.  Machu Picchu, the famous Inca palace/estate, has phenomenal water systems. It contains 16 fountains and every house had a supply of water. Many Inca cities had similar features, enabling them to wash sewage and human waste away. ( 4 )
It is hard to measure the effectiveness of these systems due to the comparative lack of disease in the Americans before the Spanish invasion. Overall they were better, vastly more so than the water supply of Europe during the time, which for most people was poor at best.

We land in Lima the capitol of Peru. After leaving off most of our luggage we are off again. From Lima it just a short 50 min. flight to Cuzo and then by Train to Pisac.

Both Bessy Marie and Olga agreed with Juan that a trip to Cusco and the scared valley was well worth a visit. Everyone goes to Machu Picchu, looks good and they have some wonderful post cards of the place. If we want to explore a market place where crafts people, farmers and others gather then a visit to Pisac is a must.

Each Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday, fruits, vegetables, and grains share the stage with ceramics, jewelry, and woolens on the central plaza and spill over into the side streets. Sellers set up shop about 9 am on market days and start packing up at about 5 pm. The market is not so different from many others you’ll see around Peru, only larger.

Here is what we found out: Cusco and the Sacred Valley : Cusco was the capitol of the Inca Empire, and so is surrounded by literally hundreds of Inca ruins. The Sacred Valley is full of places to visit, the most traveled-through being Ollantaytambo, a city worth exploring on its own merits.  Time focusing on the greatest creations of the Inca empire – great Sacsayhuamán and the impressive city of Pisac.

After searching through available hotels in the area Olga deceided on the Pisac Inn. It is located right on the plaza so we will be able to see everything that is going on. We usually do not stay where there is a lot of action as we do not like the noise but hopefully it will be okay at this hotel.

After a two day stay we left for the town of Ollantaytambo a town that has been in continuous operations since the time of the Inca. May said Bessy Marie those steps are so steep I am not sure if I want to climb up them. Maybe a short distance and just look around from there. From our travel guide we learn: Ollantaytambo is a village in the Sacred Valley of south Peru, set on the Urubamba River amid snow-capped mountains. It’s known for the Ollantaytambo ruins, a massive Inca fortress with large stone terraces on a hillside. Major sites within the complex include the huge Sun Temple and the Princess Baths fountain. The village’s old town is an Inca-era grid of cobblestoned streets and adobe buildings. At the time of the Spanish conquest of Peru, it served as a stronghold for Manco Inca Yupanqui, leader of the Inca resistance. The fortress of Ollantaytambo was the site of a major battle one of the only successful ones against the conquistadors. The Spanish conquistadors came back after their defeat with more forces and captured the town. Manco Inca had retreated to the jungles shortly after the first battle. He was murdered by Spaniards that he had harbored sometime in 1544.  For more about Manco Inca go to HERE. (more…)