We spent three nights in Cusco. Everyday an adventure! What is surprising is the amount of walking/hiking we are doing. Some beaten paths but often stone steps and even flying steps! An Incan step system of huge stones imbedded in 15-20 foot walls the stones stick out sideways. Each step is like taking two and no railing. An easy way to scale the wall. The terracing is amazing so advanced as each flat area a small football field size is edged in tightly placed stone troughs the water is collected as it pours down the mountains (clouds gather and recede dozens of times in an afternoon and can bring mist, rain or sun all in the space of 15min.) water falls, dipping areas the water courses ever down the mountain. The tight fitting stone walls are a marvel of engineering. Built by the Incans to catch the water and provide growing space. Their society was clearly spiritual and cosmic based. The sun is central to their life . All of nature was embraced. The mountain peaks are called Apu as they are sacred female, mother earth.
Out hiking today with a view of the Sacred Valley. Our small bus for the ten of us climbed steep paved roads from Cusco that zigzagged past eucaliptis groves. Small mud dwellings including courtyards with small gardens some tethered cows, chickens lazy dogs and people about everywhere walking or working fields. no bikes and few cars. Our road offered dizzying views to distant grass and stone mountains soft greens to camel shades blended in the mist that could shroud and offer an expanse of embrace when the sun shone. Luckily our hike today was mostly clear as the single file stone path snaked a route round and up a sacred Apu to Incan Temples built thousands of years ago. Stone steps ascended round jagged rock faces I mostly clutched the mountain side my fingers found stone niches. I would place each foot firmly, carefully as much shale rubble covered the uneven steps. A few spots gave convenient log railings that were fastened to the outer sides but judging by the erosion I felt safer hugging the mountain wall. The views were breath taking. Vistas over a garden valley richly terraced. A muddy wide river meandered to the amazon far below. Small gathering of homes mud bricked a pleasing colour against the spring green from recent rains. What was so inspiring was the mountains that surrounded the valley. Each as queens regal, gracious and yet softly protecting the sacred valley below. Truly heart soaring vistas that even without the awareness of the esoteric mystery teachings of the Incans one feels the land is blessed.
My legs shaky with the hours of hiking on uneven rocky paths amazingly supported me through the whole day. Frequent rests with lots of emergence C laced water and arnica as my final tonic when we finally reached the bus. I felt so grateful to experience the views the stories Willaru our guide shared along the way and the expansive energy of the surroundings. Our small group are all so supportive of each other. What perfect company on this journey into the mystery of ancient Peru.
Tonight we checked into a hacienda style resort. Still in the valley of the sacred. Our accommodation luxurious a steep contrast to the humble mud bricked homes we pasted in the small village nearby. Tonight in celebration and thankfulness for my body and its strength and resilience in the face of hours of ascent and decent I had Alpaca steak, quinoa and zucchini a mixed green salad and cocoa tea.
I am sharing a room with Stephanie from Germany, she joined our group today. Familiar with Willaru she had taken a guided trip with him last year including time at his retreat centre.
The frogs are loud tonight, the sound of Spring in Peru.
Off to bed too sleepy to peer into my iPhone any longer.
Hugs from south of the equator.