Sat 5 Jan 2013 - Mon 7 Jan 2013 60 °F
Sexy Woman! Naughty verbal tongue twister mutation for Saqsayhuaman, the great fortress of the Incan empire. Sits up in the mist above Cuzco. Short hike through the town, up to the hills surrounding the city. Did it as a test hike: to see if all the gear holds up, the shoes don't pinch, and the breathing at altitude is manageable. All went well - easy, easy hike. And then it started pouring down. Not a sissy-class rain, but a full-fledged shower. My orange rain jacket withstood it all. Not a leak, not a drip down the neck. Dry as a duck. Having good gear gave me so much confidence - I felt like shaking my fist up at the heavens and saying "That's all you got?! Bring it on!" That feeling of being prepared, of knowing what to expect and then actually doing what is expected is such a confidence-instilling experience. The rain-soaked hour was exactly what I needed needed...And now I feel invincible! But there is a fine line between confidence and arrogance, no?
The marvel of Saqsayhuaman, and many of the Incan sites, is all the unanswered questions - this fortress is made up of high rock walls, rocks that are taller than a man, so how did the megaliths get there? They are so LARGE that even with today's heavy equipment it would be a miracle to get one rock of 200 tons up to the mountain, and there are 100s at this site. The sheer scale is mind boggling. And engineers haven't quite worked out how these giant rocks were quarried and brought over to the site.
And the mystery goes on when you look at the oldest wall in Cuzco - it's at least a 1000 years old, and it looks like the rocks have been laser cut to precision-fit. Please tell me how they did it! Some walls are like looking at a modern jigsaw - the rock edges all fit together neatly. The most famous rock has 13 edges. How? How? How? I guess some mysteries must endure. But that's what makes the the land of the Incas so mystical. Next blog about Nazca - more mystery!
A few more pictures. Click.