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Cuzco City, Peru

Updated: Jan 11, 2021

Since this Quantum Crown Virus has had us in different levels of quarantine throughout 2020 and now it's spilling into 2021, I have been revisiting my travel journals. This series is from an epic trip to Peru in 2017.

Here is our itinerary:

July 2nd, 2017: Arrive

July 3rd: San Pedro Ceremony at Leslie's Mountain home with Q'ero Limpia

July 4th: Pisac Market & Animal Sanctuary

July 5th: Sacsaywoaman Tour and Ayahuasca Ceremony with Kush

July 6th: Dispatcho ceremony with Q'ero ; Rappe cermoney with Travis ; Ayahuasca with Kush

July 7th: Free day in Cuzco

July 8th: Back to Mountain house for San Pedro Ceremony with Leslie

July 9th: Closing Circle

July 10-12th Macchu Pichu train & tour

*********THIS IS GOING TO BE AWESOME***************

Cuzco City is at an elevation of 11,000 feet above sea level. It was the Incan Empire's capital and later colonized by the Spanish. The city is a mix of ancient, archaeological walls paired with Spanish Colonial architecture and brutalist architecture of concrete walls with rebar sticking out of the tops of the newer buildings. At first we thought that this was because construction never got done. Mark or Simon explained to us at lunch that it was because the government can't tax a building if the construction hasn't been completed, so people leave the buildings incomplete and move in anyway.

July 3, 2017 Cuzco, Peru

We woke up this morning feeling the altitude. Our levels of sickness varied between us. Sophia had it the worst. She was dizzy and felt nauseous. Jason didn't feel anything. I had a headache and I'm pretty sure Penny had a headache too. Penny hasn't entered her verbal stage, but she was holding her forehead. We all took some Tylenol and ate some breakfast and we all felt fine the rest of the day.

Penny napped while the kids rested. Jason and I went with the group to lunch. It took two hours. Peruvian restaurants did things at their own pace. It was clear that their cultural probably doesn't even have a word for fast food. We brought food back for the kids and then all 5 of us went to Plaza de Armas. Jason, Eloise and Sophia bought soft, warm alpaca sweaters. I don't think any of us packed our bags properly for cold weather. It was summer in Seattle when we left, so lesson learned that South America has opposite seasons. I found a cherry quartz and crystal necklace. I love rocks and stones. I often wonder if I was named Krystal because I was destined to love crystals or if I love crystals because my name is Krystal? I'll never know.

We saw an impromptu parade in the plaza. The plaza was framed in on two sides to close the street off by two cars up on concrete blocks with no wheels. It was hard to tell if the cars were blocking the street on accident causing a celebration? or was this how they blocked their streets for a parade?

Sophia and Eloise were super cute and were embracing the Peruvian culture, taking pictures, buying items they wanted, including some Peruvian candy. Then sharing the candy with their little sister. Penny hung out in the Ergo backpack on my back most of the time. Although, there was a shop with techno music playing inside and we let her walk around in there while I looked at all the stones. Penny and Jason had a mini dance party with the shop owner. It was cute.

One interesting or strange thing about Cuzco is that every time a local church has a mass, they fire off loud fire crackers. The loud bangs happen all times of the day and night. The blasts, paired with the fact that almost none of the buildings have windows and the rebar that looms like crooked crowns on the tops of half the city, it almost feels eerie and war-torn. But the people don't match the architecture at all. It seems the people are vibrant, kind, happy, dancing and playing music in the streets. It's a really awesome vibe.

We drove to Leslie's mountain home in a small taxi. All 5 of us crammed into a small hatchback and held on while our driver drove super fast through tiny streets that curved all the way up to the top of the tallest peak we could see. It felt as though we were spiraling up to the top of the mountain. At the top, each home had a walled-in garden. Inside Leslie's walls of her garden, it was lush and felt warmer somehow than in Cuzco City. Maybe because we are closer to the sun at such a high elevation. The sun was out and there were massive cacti lining the walls. Hammocks hung here and there. It felt like a true sanctuary. You could tell that a lot of love went into making this place special.

We were shown to our room. It was on the second story of a guest house across from Leslie's main house. There were 6 or so rooms in this separate structure. There was a common outhouse for the bathroom and a kitchen area with living room that was on the main level. All of us guests were staying in the guest house. It was a really peaceful set-up. I felt comfortable letting Penny run throughout the gardens and play with the dogs. It was ideal for having a toddler with us. We rested for a few hours.

Tasha came by with her baby and told us that we can leave Penny with her while we go to the San Pedro ceremony. I thought Sophia and Eloise would hang out with Tasha too, but Tasha said that children in Peru start doing San Pedro ceremonies at the age of 4, so Leslie had invited Sophia and Eloise to come with us. The four of us made our way down to the large round maloka and waited for the ceremony to start.

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