We stayed on Machu Picchu until after lunchtime.  We caught our train back to Cusco late that afternoon.  This time we were on the Vistadome.  The difference?  A glass ceiling so you can see the mountains overhead, a small meal and beverage service and, of all things, a fashion show.  Our two seats faced Tristan and Tessa’s seat, across from a small table, so we were able to play a few rounds of cards on the way back.  Most of the time though we just looked out at the scenery and the snowpeaked mountains overhead.

mp-dpg  Tessa and Tristan enjoying the train ride


mp-j  View from the train

Our train arrived at a stop near Cusco and Peggy from Torre Dorada had made sure a taxi was waiting for us.  When we got back to our room, we were tired but a little hungry.  Danny, ever thoughtful, asked if we wanted to order some pizza.  We did and we also wanted a Coke Zero.  The pizza place didn’t have Coke Zero, so Danny went to the corner market and got some for us. Ok.  How many hotels have you stayed in that have that kind of service?  He didn’t do it because he expected something, (he wouldn’t take a tip), he didn’t do it because it was his job, he did it because that’s just who he is and who everyone is at the Hotel.  In fact, Peru has a reputation for having the friendliest, most accommodating people and we were lucky to be a recipient of that.  But truly I think the staff at Torre Dorada is exceptional.  We really felt that they took care of us like family.  When the pizza came, Danny brought it to our room, along with napkins, plates and glasses.  It felt like coming home!


q5   Qorikancha

We woke up late the next morning.  On the schedule today?  More touring of Cusco.  There were a few places we hadn’t gotten to see  yet, plus we loved Cusco.  First on the list was Qorikancha, the fabled City of Gold, the most famous temple in the Americas.  It was the Incas principal astronomical observatory.  When the Spanish first saw it, they found the walls lined with sheets of gold, which they subsequently stole.  Before the Spanish could return, the Incas took down the huge gold disc of the sun and the platinum disc of the moon.  It’s said the Incas threw them into Lake Titicaca to protect them.  After defeating the Incas and destroying all their religious artifacts, the church of Santo Domingo was built right on top of the ruins.  











This is a shameful period in Spanish history.  Not only did they annihilate an entire race, they set about to destroy any trace they had ever existed.  Thankfully, most of the stonework and walls remain, but the Inca’s beautiful works of gold were melted and recast into religious relics for the Catholic Church. 

Our last Inca site was Sacsaywaman, the site of a major Inca/Spanish battle.  Of all the Inca sites we toured, including Machu Picchu, Sacsaywaman and Qorikancha held the most energy.  You could really feel the presence of the Incas at both sites.  Standing in one of the Inca rooms in Qorikancha you swear you could see an Inca priest disappearing around a corner.  At Sacsaywaman, standing across the field from the site, you could easily imagine the Incas and Spaniards involved in a fierce battle.


s2  Sacsaywaman





aabb  Dan taking a break


aaab1   Moon over Sacsaywaman



aa  Walls are set in zig zag pattern.  The theory is that this was to honor the god of lightening

The next  afternoon it was time for our sad goodbye to Torre Dorado.  I had tears in my eyes as I gave Danny and Peggy a hug goodbye.  We were really sad to leave, but it was time for us to catch our bus and head to Puno (Lake Titicaca).  Danny and Peggy walked us out to the taxi, and waited by the curb until we pulled away.  We couldn’t have been better taken care of.