11,200 feet

After leaving Lima we flew to the ancient Incan capital city of Cusco. Most of what the Incans built was razed by the Conquistadors and replaced with spanish-style buildings. As a result the city is a mix of precolumbian and 18th century architecture. Cusco is a popular tourist destination due to its proximity to Macchu Picchu, but there is plenty of history in town that kept us busy for several days.

Our apartment was just outside the center of town and halfway up the hill. Each night we’d walk home slowly, stopping to pause every few minutes to catch our breath. I even suffered from a little altitude sickness, but thanks to coca leaf tea my headaches and stomach troubles faded away. The leaves are available everywhere, and a local cafe isn’t local without mate de coca on the menu.

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