19 September 2007


That's the Inca spelling, but to me it looks like the name of a city from some bad D&D campaign. I may be one of the few travelers to Peru who has taken a month to get to the principal attraction. And after Delphi, this is the second "belly button of the world" that I've visited. If you know of any more, send word along so I can collect them all. I took a seven hour bus ride from the Colca Canyon back to Arequipa and almost immediately jumped onto a ten hour overnight bus to Cuzco. En route, I started suffering altitude sickness. It felt like a very heavy man was standing on my chest. I arrived at around 5 am and headed to my hotel to pass out for four hours. I woke and wandered down the street to find what but a hemp clothing store and cafe. It's like they planted it there for me. I ate a hemp omelet. Then I went around looking for a better hotel. My choice is between a $5/night dormitory in a rustic farmhouse with a great view over the city (and chicken heads on the table out front) or a $10/night private room at a nicer place with a new age vibe, free Internet, a great book exchange, and excursions to the mountains to consume San Pedro cactus. I'll have to research whether or not hallucinatory drugs mix well with all my other drugs. Anyway, you can guess where I'm leaning. Then I went over to the local office of the South American Explorer's Club and was delighted to receive tons of free information even though I'm not a member. Miguel explained in detail how to get to Machu Picchu without taking the expensive train, and I also met an American guy there who might take me trekking with him to Choquequirau, another Inca city that has distinct advantages over the over-touristed Picchu. Now I'm going to look at an Inca wall stone that's famous for having 12 sides.


mel said...

steve my friend, you are the belly button of the world!
Continue to take care of yourself. the world would be weird with a dead belly button!

The Steve said...

That is the most interesting compliment I have ever received. Thanks!