See the shooting chaskas?
We dreamed a dream and it was Peru.
Held safely in the belly of the Andes,
We found this is who we were born to become.
In ceremony, bells twinkle like fairy energy,
Pachamama comes to possess our souls
And kawsay sparkles in our auras.
Fire smoke signals the mountain Apus,
A rainbow ignites and bridges us to Inti Taita.
We ride the rattle to parallel universes
Where the Spirits speak and fires burn bright.
We step through the portal into the heart.
Love wells up so strong it overflows
To fill our cups with promises.
Sojourn on the sacred pathway
Sojourn on the sacred pathway
With slithering serpent and puma paws.
Cartwheel through the sky with condor.
Come dream the sami into being
Come join the juicy mystery
And “wake” us up as we become “kin” of the land.
On the Inka terraces we receive the rites
Pampamesayoq, Altomesayoq, Kurek Akuyec,
All spill into our energy body, our blood, our genes.
In turn, we radiate out to the world to fertilize and catalyze.
Spirit lives better in us now
And our bodies feel different on us.
Catch a falling chaska.
Like a starburst our commune-ity leaves on the four winds
Traveling independent paths of reintegration.
We stretch the threads we wove in the Andes
To share at our home shores.
It was Peru that taught us
How to dream up
~ Drake Bear Stephen
Legend tells that in the 12th century, the first inca, Manco Capac, was charged by Inti, the ancestral sun god, to find the navel of the earth (qosq’o in the Quechua language) –the spot where he could plunge a golden rod into the ground until it disappeared. When at last Manco discovered such a spot, he founded the city that was to become the thriving capital of the Americas’ greatest empire.
So it is quite natural that when visiting the Sacred Valley, you always start in Cusco. Cusco with its famous puma shape is at 11,200 feet in the Andes and is the center of Quechua culture, the indigenous people that were once the spiritual advisors to the Inca.
But 11,200' also means altitude sickness and loads of advice from people on how to handle it. I was a bit breathless at first and since I couldn’t take the medicines, what I did was just take it easy with slow steps and deep breaths when we landed and on reaching the hotel, had the local coca tea called "Mate de coca” and slept off for 2 hrs! Woke up refreshed, energetic and ready for the sightseeing. Thereafter I did ensure that I had regular cups of the Mate de coca and the Cocoa sweets that we bought at the airport and I didn’t have any problems during my stay there.
|A Lively Procession|
Ronaldo comes along and introduces himself adding that he is often called Romeo…not sure if that was the case or something he made up seeing 24 women! And we head out to the 1st of the archeological sites - Saqsaywaman just 2 kms outside Cusco atop a steep hill. Just before we reach there we see a small procession of people carrying a statue of Jesus and we are introduced to the liveliness of the Peruvian culture.
|The walls leaning inward.|
The total area of the site is 3000 hectares but the best-known zone is the great plaza and its adjacent three massive terrace walls. The stones used in the construction of these terraces are huge and polished and each boulder has been carefully cut to fit together tightly without mortar. They display such precision of fitting that a single piece of paper will not fit between many of the stones. This precision, combined with the rounded corners of the blocks, the variety of their interlocking shapes, and the way the walls lean inward, is thought to have helped the ruins survive devastating earthquakes in Cusco.
|PHOTO OP||Local at Inka's Expressions|
After dinner, Meeta and I decide to cross over to the artisan market across the road from our hotel which we found quite a reasonable place to shop. There were lots of stalls to browse through and I managed to pick up my curios from Peru at a bargain!