Our Peruvian adventure started in Cusco.  This city is nestled in one of the many valleys of the Andes Mountains.  Cusco was the capital city during the Incan times.  Because of its history, it still holds importance to the Peruvian people.

The primary focus of Cusco is tourism and this was particularly true of the old town center area where we stayed.  A 20 minute taxi ride from the airport introduced us to the narrow streets.

The narrow roads of Cusco

Despite the narrow streets, fairly large buses travelled down them with relative ease.

Small bus squeezing down the narrow street

Because the sidewalks are also narrow, it is important to pay attention to traffic even when walking on the side walk.

As you may have noticed there is no room for parking on the street.  There are very few parking lots as well.  Sometimes it is necessary to take drastic measures when someone must park in the street.

Passing on the streets of Cusco
While not as small as cobblestones, the streets are paved with stones about the size of a brick.

Paved stones of Cusco

This is not purely a historical remnant.  Even the streets that are being rebuilt are paved with the same paving stones

Cusco street being rebuilt

However in other parts of Peru, including the outskirts of Cusco, conventional asphalt paved roads are common.  My assumption is that the paving stones are used to maintain the historical feel of the city.

In some cases their solutions to infrastructure problems flies in the face of our thinking in the US.  For example, have a hole in the sidewalk?  Want to make sure nobody steps in it?  Just cover it!

Sidewalk repair in Cusco

Our first meal was at a hole-in-the-wall restaurant.  There were a number of locals in the restaurant, and a woman on the street recommended it (a friend of the owner no doubt!).  The food was delicious and a bargain.

3$ US for lunch!

For less than $3 US we had a rice soup, and a choice of fried chicken or beef stew, and a local apple cider/tea drink.

From there we started wandering around the city.  Check out the many taxis, shops, chocolate makingbuilding construction hike above Cusco, and of course the local dogs.


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