Adventures with Renee and Jane
With Michael recovering from food poisoning (hooray for Cipro!), we play it safe with a western breakfast at Jack's Cafe, then a full afternoon of exploring the four ruins closest to Cusco. The girls wanted to go horseback riding and the hostel hooked us up. A car took us to Saqsayhuaman, the head of the "puma" that shaped Cusco's city layout and perhaps one of the most sacred sites in the Incan Empire. Nearby is Q'enqo, a large rock and small caves dedicated to the rock cult. Horseback riding finally started after that, although we actually dismounted and walked to Puca Pucara (the red fort) and Tambomachay (Incan royal baths) on foot.
Fun, yet not quite what we expected... we thought we'd be on horseback the whole way, dismounting only at the ruins themselves. Just another take on how not everything matches your expectations. We met up with Rani's friends for dinner that night-- they were less crazy than us and skipped hiking the Inca Trail, so their trip was somewhat different than ours.