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Horse Riding & Semana Santa

overcast 15 °C

I have to say nightlife in Cuzco is definitely comparable to big cities. From pubs to clubs to lounges... Sunday night, I discovered a tiny lounge off the plaza with a patio, fantastic stone, wood and iron work inside. Needless to say, I was completely sucked into this relaxing atmosphere lounging on a tiny second level with a moon-shaped couch, magazines and games - an instant favorite.

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On Monday morning, I took a horse-riding tour to see a few ruins in the ourskirts of Cuzco in the morning. My 'horse man' or more precisely 'horse boy', walked me around the mountains stopping at Puka Pukara, an Inka fortress, then Tambo Machay, a resting place for Incas with three ceremonial fountains built on different levels and finally Qenqo, a 'situ' (hollowed-out stone that house an altar served chicha, sacrifial blood) with zigzag channels before finally dropping me off.

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I then walked down to the famous 'Sacsayhuaman', a massive rock structure with stones weighing up to 130 tons and fit together absolute perfectly. Shapes of llama, condor and puma can be found if you looked carefully on the walls. It was used as the Temple of the sun complete with an observatory. I wandered around for a while admiring the amazing stonework until the infamous cuzco showers came down. I was left with no cab in sight. After waiting hopelessly for a while and bumping into a few guys from nyc, I decided to take the slippery stone road back to the center of Cuzco.

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The preparation was going on outside the main Cathedral for 'Semana Santa' as I got back to town. Little that I found out later that this Easter Monday celebration was about to turn this busy town into complete craziness. I sneaked into the cathedral before the service started. A large statue of Christ was in the center of the stage. After a short speech by the top cardinal, a group of men started to carry this statue from the church to the plaza and around town for the next few hours! I was pushed forward by the crowds following the moving statue. It was a weird but exilirating feeling surrounded by such a religious crowd.

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The streets are so filled at this point that the only thing we wanted is to escape from the crowds and seek normality somewhere. There is one and only one thing in our minds at this point - to prepare, get up early and trek the famous Inca Trail the next four days. At our pre-meeting, we met our trail guide, Julio, at hotel Garcilso and started to mentally prepare ourselves for this adventure.

Posted by shinenyc 17:33 Archived in Peru Tagged backpacking

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