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Two Dragons welcome the sunrise with an improvised dance atop the Andes. Photo by Ryan Gasper.

Six hours in Cusco

Six hours in Cusco:

We embarked today on a six hour scavenger hunt/explore/final adventure in Cusco around noon. Here are our impressions:

What most stuck out to Luis was the difference between tourist and non-tourist areas. We noticed some differences were that in the less tourist-y areas, there were no English signs and no one approached us selling art, massages, Indian all-you-can eat buffet restaurants, piercings, tattoos, drugs! In addition, Sloan made the observation that in the less touristy areas there were political posters.

The mixture of modern and traditional was also striking. For example, while riding the bus to the museum, a woman with a small child and a baby sat down next to Luis. She was wearing modern Western clothes–leggings and a down jacket–but carried her baby on her back, swaddled in a traditionally woven blanket that rested on her shoulders, as we had seen many women carry their children in Paru Paru.

Perhaps the most pleasurable part of the day was eating lunch at the market. There was an abundance of delicious, cheap food, served by women in green aprons at long white-tiled countertops. We sat down and had quinoa soup, rice, chicken, lentils, etc. for only 5 soles  ($1.75) per person. We noticed next to us many of the shopowners from the market around us mobbing the adjacent food stand, arguing loudly about who would get their food first. Seeing how passionately they pushed for their food, we doubted our choice in food stand, but the food was so good and cheap, we couldn´t go wrong, as with many experiences in Cusco.