Saqsaywaman, Cusco, Day 28

Sexy alpaca (maybe) at the Inca site of Saqsaywaman, Cusco, PeruChristi’s still not feeling that great and much prefers the idea of reading and checking out the latest gossip on Facebook to exploring more local Inca ruins.  Indeed, she warns me that I’ll be Inca’d out before we even reach Machu Picchu.  Perhaps, but who can resist a site called Sexy Woman (officially, Saqsaywaman), which is located on a steep hill to the north of Cusco.  This fortress was built during Inca times to protect Cusco from attack.  In addition, to being an interesting archeological site, this area offers tremendous views over Cusco and the giant graffiti-carved hills to the south of town.

Sexy Woman’s most impressive features are, again, the terraces, although these were used purely for military purposes.  Each of the three massive stone tiers rise to a height of almost 20 feet.  The stones used in the construction of these terraces are among the largest of any pre-Columbian era building (weighing anything from 100 – 200 tons).  The craftsmanship is also astonishing: the terraces were built without mortar and the stones are so closely spaced that a single sheet of paper won’t fit between them.  Indeed, these Inca structures are so sturdy they’ve largely survived the devastating earthquakes that frequently menace Cusco – unlike many Spanish buildings of the same period.

Now I may be mistaken here, but at a site as provocatively named as Sexy Woman, wouldn’t you think some enterprising (and suitably clad) Peruvian gal would be willing to pose for photos – for a fee, of course.  All I could find was an alpaca (a cousin of the llama) although I suppose it might be female.  Difficult to tell with all that wool.

Blog post by Roderick Phillips, author of Weary Heart – a gut-wrenching tale of love and test tubes.

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