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cusco

PERÚ: CUSCO

Cusco is all colonial architecture and tourist comforts –  wide squares surrounded by elegant cathedrals, flaky chocolate croissants and raisin scrolls at a French bakery, hot expresso coffee, international chains discretely veiled by colonial facades, people touting tours, massages, mass produced handicrafts.

A confirmed city agarophobe I don’t venture out much beyond what is required to maintain my bike and feed myself.

Cusco is famous for its elegant and expansive plaza surrounded by a multitude of churches.

Early in the morning it is quiet ... before the buses arrive to disgorge hordes of tourists who form straggling noisy lines behind guides bearing coloured umbrellas aloft...

... but the windy narrow streets above the square remain deserted.

The international luxury chains are tastefully discreet so as not to disturb the colonial charm. Many a tourist debacle can be observed in passing. These colourfully dressed women, with their alpaca, eagerly pose for photos with tourists and then demand a dollar or two after the event. Not all tourists are happy to hand over the cash and in this case the H.Stern doorman had to intervene. Another group of ladies with a llama hurried disappeared down an alley on spotting a police car cruising past.

I would have loved to buy a pizza from this pizza truck but it appeared to have retired from commerce.

Cusco dog fest.

Mmmmm...coffee...

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