This was a pretty great day. Some minor irritants, but overall super duper.
Morning was a delightful breakfast with many delicious items to eat and drink, all of which you can partake at your leisure whilst watching dogs fuck in the park outside. Seriously - the stray dogs - about a dozen - did lots of other interesting things, too. There were some serious political maneuverings around this one popular female. A big guy was frantically fending off rivals as I sipped my orange juice. I continued to ponder the whole dog thing. Is South America one pan-continental dog park?
My plan was to just acclimate gradually to avoid the dreaded altitude sickness and wander around and hopefully visit a couple museums. I didn't make it to any museums, though, because the whole center of town was taken over by a parade that lasted all day and into the night!
This was sensory overload to be sure. I think most people have seen the colorful Inca costumes in various books and shows and such. But being submerged in a mob of people with a wide variety of costumes - in every crazy color mixed in every crazy way - is an experience. In my mind's eye I just see a kaleidoscope. Whistles. Colors. Drums. Colors. Horns. Colors. Funny hats.
All I did was walk, walk, walk, and take lots of pictures and videos. Man - Colonia wants to show off cobblestones? Cusco's got cobblestones BETWEEN cobblestones! I bet if you pried up a cobblestone, there would be MORE cobblestones underneath! Centuries of cobblestones laid upon cobblestones in great cobblestoney layers. Cobble cobble cobble.
I don't know how I didn't get altitude sickness. I started out walking slow and breathing deep, but after a while just hit my stride. Cusco pretty much climbs the side of a mountain at roughly 35 degrees, so after climbing that most of the day my Peru-flag donut guilt was far behind.
Cusco is overall really pretty - twisty (cobbled) narrow roads with great views, overall yellowy painted walls, those curvy brick tile roofs, and here and there highly saturated blue doors and windows. It seems pretty clean and is described as safe. And it seems like the roaming dogs are cuter here!
The only blot on the day were all the people trying to sell me stuff. Lots of little old ladies in extremely colorful clothes trying to get me to buy extremely colorful whatevers. It seemed like one out of every ten people wanted me to buy something. And some were pretty aggressive. NO! I don't want to buy any of your rainbows!!