Coca leaves and coca tea for altitude, and visiting some amazing Inca sites

Coca leaves and coca tea for altitude, and visiting some amazing Inca sites

div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-X78svnUaelY/UYsj2-IP4PI/AAAAAAAAOEo/bUXyV6A-mjI/s1600/IMG5461.JPG" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"img border="0" height="480" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-X78svnUaelY/UYsj2-IP4PI/AAAAAAAAOEo/bUXyV6A-mjI/s640/IMG5461.JPG" width="640" //a/divdiv class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"br //divdiv class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"Before going to a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cusco"Cusco/a we were advised by a number of friends who had been there to take it easy about altitude. Don't drink the night before, relax for one day in the hotel, drink coca tea... all good advice that helped us to adapt to the altitude. And in fact as soon as we landed in Cusco we felt it: one set of stairs had us puffing! We arrived at a href="http://www.taypikala.com/spanish/elhotel.php?hotel=cusco"the hotel/a and the first thing they did was to offer us a coca tea. It tastes really nice, like a mild green tea. In the lobby there were also coca leaves to chew, and oxygen bottles, just in case. We didn't need those, but every time I went to the lobby I could see newly arrived guests relaxing on the sofas with a coca tea, all a little wary and slow. FYI, coca leaves and tea are legal in Peru, just don't take them back to your own country! Coca helps with altitude, but most importantly remember to take it slowly, just look at the elevations below!/divdiv class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"br //divtable align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"tbodytrtd style="text-align: center;"a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-bWPeHbPQ7c/UYsjPRRTazI/AAAAAAAAODI/frvbhhf9-Vk/s1600/mosaic20829f4f62c35f5821d72eedd0fdff97be23dc4f.jpg" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-bWPeHbPQ7c/UYsjPRRTazI/AAAAAAAAODI/frvbhhf9-Vk/s1600/mosaic20829f4f62c35f5821d72eedd0fdff97be23dc4f.jpg" //a/td/trtrtd class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"span style="background-color: white; line-height: 45px; text-align: left;"span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif; font-size: small;"Taypikala Hotel Cusco/span/span/td/tr/tbody/tablediv class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"br //divdiv class="" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-FhSCFvwwLYI/UYsjycPufFI/AAAAAAAAOEQ/UD1u15LvK0/s1600/IMG5456.JPG" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"img border="0" height="320" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-FhSCFvwwLYI/UYsjycPufFI/AAAAAAAAOEQ/UD1u15LvK0/s320/IMG5456.JPG" width="240" //aa href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cusco"Cusco/a: elevation 3,399 m high, the old part of the city has lots of ups and down streets which can make you tired. Just rest in the hotel for the first day and sleep a lot, eat light meals (there are excellent quinoa soups in Cusco) and plan to visit the city on your second day!/divdiv class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-gSPQsSwUkEU/UYsj2w-HieI/AAAAAAAAOEk/sHbtL-qx7ew/s1600/IMG5458.JPG" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"img border="0" height="640" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-gSPQsSwUkEU/UYsj2w-HieI/AAAAAAAAOEk/sHbtL-qx7ew/s640/IMG5458.JPG" width="480" //a/divdiv class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"br //divdiv class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-fi12l2fKCMg/UYsj0-9HWsI/AAAAAAAAOEc/RJ9rZxgnGaY/s1600/IMG5457.JPG" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"img border="0" height="640" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-fi12l2fKCMg/UYsj0-9HWsI/AAAAAAAAOEc/RJ9rZxgnGaY/s640/IMG5457.JPG" width="478" //a/divdiv class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-7tffILKaP3I/UYsjPSxpgcI/AAAAAAAAODE/h4x-YhEQFf4/s1600/mosaic52b36a551fd19ae290122bb61772894239f9df80.jpg"img border="0" height="640" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-7tffILKaP3I/UYsjPSxpgcI/AAAAAAAAODE/h4x-YhEQFf4/s1600/mosaic52b36a551fd19ae290122bb61772894239f9df80.jpg" width="640" //a/divdiv class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"br //divdiv class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saksaywaman"Saksaywaman/a: elevation 3,701, an Inca fortess in the outskirts of Cusco, easy to reach by taxi, but as it is even higher that Cusco make sure that you have adjusted to the altitude first, and then you can have fun (look at Max sliding!)! From Saksaywaman (which means 'satisfied falcon' and not 'sexy woman')  you can look down to Cusco city! /divdiv class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"br //divdiv class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-LmV97VT8hmQ/UYsjPcSVxEI/AAAAAAAAODM/8-S3ThOTueY/s1600/mosaic22e1c9d91b2c67e96088d72afcde1737c6df2f64.jpg" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"img border="0" height="640" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-LmV97VT8hmQ/UYsjPcSVxEI/AAAAAAAAODM/8-S3ThOTueY/s640/mosaic22e1c9d91b2c67e96088d72afcde1737c6df2f64.jpg" width="640" //a/divdiv class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"br //divdiv class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"br //divdiv class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"br //divdiv class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-amu1jpzYXbc/UYsmRtu7hZI/AAAAAAAAOFA/gUq5bzGkowE/s1600/IMG5466.JPG" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"img border="0" height="320" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-amu1jpzYXbc/UYsmRtu7hZI/AAAAAAAAOFA/gUq5bzGkowE/s320/IMG5466.JPG" width="240" //aPisac: the city (Colonial Pisac) is 2972 m high, but the ruins (Inca Pisac) are a bit higher. The Inca terraces are incredible, and the irrigation system too; this is another "must see"! /divbr /div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-wWwRRqi7qbs/UYsmPwLFn4I/AAAAAAAAOE4/zHm7dBPuVl8/s1600/IMG5467.JPG" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"img border="0" height="640" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-wWwRRqi7qbs/UYsmPwLFn4I/AAAAAAAAOE4/zHm7dBPuVl8/s640/IMG5467.JPG" width="480" //a/divdiv class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"br //divdiv class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-TJhNl9bnNE/UYsjuAmc0uI/AAAAAAAAOD0/G4FB9obiSQ/s1600/IMG5448.JPG" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"img border="0" height="640" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-TJhNl9bnNE/UYsjuAmc0uI/AAAAAAAAOD0/G4FB9obiSQ/s640/IMG5448.JPG" width="480" //a/divdiv class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"br //divdiv class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"br //divdiv class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"The Sacred Valley, you can see the a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andes"Andes/a from here, and the a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UrubambaRiver"Urubamba/a river (which feeds into the Amazon river). I am not sure how high we were (we just stopped on the side of the road to take photos) but we were told by our guide that we were over 3,800 m. high./divdiv class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"br //divdiv class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-047zpKKcFGk/UYsjuRvtq2I/AAAAAAAAOD8/PKAzrFq4TTM/s1600/IMG5450.JPG" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"img border="0" height="640" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-047zpKKcFGk/UYsjuRvtq2I/AAAAAAAAOD8/PKAzrFq4TTM/s640/IMG5450.JPG" width="480" //a/divdiv class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"br //divdiv class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"br //divdiv class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"br //divdiv class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-YIyCjxNwboY/UYsjpe2B2CI/AAAAAAAAODc/b3RGYU-6SmE/s1600/IMG5445.JPG" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"img border="0" height="320" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-YIyCjxNwboY/UYsjpe2B2CI/AAAAAAAAODc/b3RGYU-6SmE/s320/IMG5445.JPG" width="240" //aa href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ollantaytambo"Ollantaytambo/a: elevation 2,792 m. Fortunately we 'went down' a bit here, because this archeological site needs quite a bit of going up steps! We had to take it a little at the time to cover all the terraces and get to the top, but after Machu Picchu this was possibly my favourite site./divdiv class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"br //divdiv class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-43gqrVypSlA/UYsjqz5p2dI/AAAAAAAAODo/xxxb2Ct2YpI/s1600/IMG5443.JPG" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"img border="0" height="640" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-43gqrVypSlA/UYsjqz5p2dI/AAAAAAAAODo/xxxb2Ct2YpI/s640/IMG5443.JPG" width="480" //a/divbr /div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-e-eKu3PvVM/UYsjqhbwYeI/AAAAAAAAODk/nWb0I7vSSpE/s1600/IMG5444.JPG" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"img border="0" height="640" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-e-eKu3PvVM/UYsjqhbwYeI/AAAAAAAAODk/nWb0I7vSSpE/s640/IMG5444.JPG" width="480" //a/divbr /div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-F1tyssoWAgM/UYsjw-rJ2I/AAAAAAAAOEE/0gIwNqW4Jpg/s1600/IMG5449.JPG" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"img border="0" height="640" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-F1tyssoWAgM/UYsjw-rJ2I/AAAAAAAAOEE/0gIwNqW4Jpg/s640/IMG5449.JPG" width="480" //a/divbr /div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"br //divdiv class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"br //divdiv class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-7qzQWLapL4k/UYworhImGI/AAAAAAAAOFU/2GsAzV7YW04/s1600/IMG5343.JPG" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"img border="0" height="320" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-7qzQWLapL4k/UYworhImGI/AAAAAAAAOFU/2GsAzV7YW04/s320/IMG5343.JPG" width="240" //aAnd of course there is a href="http://alessandrazecchini.blogspot.co.nz/2013/05/my-birthday-and-machu-picchu.html"Machu Picchu/a, elevation 2,430 (so considerably lower than other sites, but harder to reach). This place is so special that I have another post a href="http://alessandrazecchini.blogspot.co.nz/2013/05/my-birthday-and-machu-picchu.html"here/a with all the photos, in case you are interested. Everything was so beautiful that I think I left a piece of my heart in Peru./divbr /divbr /br /br /br /br /br /br /br /br /br /br /br /br /br /br /div style="text-align: center;"span class="Apple-style-span" style="background-color: white; color: #444444; font-family: Arial, Tahoma, Helvetica, FreeSans, sans-serif; font-size: 18px; line-height: 18px;"span lang="EN-US"span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;"span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: xx-small;"Photos by Alessandra Zecchini /span/span/span/spanspan class="Apple-style-span" style="background-color: white; color: #666666; font-family: 'Josefin Sans'; font-size: 18px; line-height: 18px;"span lang="EN-US"span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;"span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: xx-small;"© /span/span/span/span/div/divdiv class="blogger-post-footer"

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