Narrative - Page Six
Day Twelve - Wednesday, April 5
After breakfast, we set out once again by bus to ascend into the
mountains surrounding Cusco.  There, at an altitude of 12,136
feet above sea level, the Inca built a truly amazing structure.  
It's called Sacsahuaman and is a huge fortress of massive
stones, zigzagging across the side of the mountain.  Our guide
said its shape represents the teeth of a giant puma, with Cusco
representing the puma's body.  The shape probably would have
made surprise attacks almost impossible, but it's clear that this
fortress was still incomplete when the Spanish armies arrived.  
Our guide told us of the known history, as well as the many
legends, attached to this site.  We also were able to look for
hints as to how these immense stones were shaped and stacked
so perfectly.  There are several theories.
Leaving the fortress, we went on to visit the famous
amphitheatre at Kenko, which is a rare example of curvilinear
construction in Inca architecture.  They didn't do very much of
that sort of thing, which is found so frequently in ancient Greek
and Roman architecture.  Nearby, we saw Tampu Machay, also
known as the Inca Baths.  That was built around a natural
spring and was fortified with military posts and observation
decks.  We also took a guided tour of the city of Cusco and,
after lunch, we had time for some final shopping in Cusco,
which is the center of Andean culture and handicrafts.  We went
to one of Cusco's leading restaurants for a "farewell dinner" and
another enjoyable program of Andean folklore before returning
to our hotel for our final night of this once-in-a-lifetime
adventure trip.
Day Thirteen - Thursday, April 6
We went to the airport for our morning flight to Lima.  In the
afternoon, we visited the Gold Museum, which houses the finest
collection of Inca and pre-Inca artifacts in the world.  The
museum is filled with gold masks, breastplates, nose and ear
rings, and numerous bowls, tools, statuary pieces, fetishes, gods,
etc.  That night we dined at one of Lima's finest restaurants, the
Rosa Nautica, overlooking the Pacific Ocean.  What a perfect
ending to a perfect trip!
Narrative Continues....