Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Cuzco, Peru

So let me get started with the garden and then go into the Cuzco files:) Yesterday in the garden, I set a perimeter of rocks around 2 trees just like the Incans did and the people do now in Peru to contain their gardens.  It has a very natural look in the landscape and it's easy to do.  My intent is to push out the gardening even more and maximize "green" space.  I'll have pictures of that in the next blog.  I'm going to plant verbena around them and fill in the tree wells with dirt and groundcover.  It actually looks cool right now, but I have to protect the trunks.  I'm prepping the area around the trees and I think next week when I have the funding, I'll be adding some more greenery to my side of the building.  Grass is great but in the desert, it's a real waste of water.  However with that being said, I understand why some people like having a patch of grass in their yard.

I really enjoy not having to cut grass on a weekly basis, but I do enjoy putting green in areas where it will fill out and spread.....verbena is great for that use. 

Today I'm continuing on with the next part of Peru....Cuzco.  The ancient Incan captial is still considered a central base for the Quechua indians(the descendents of the Incan people).  On June 25th every year, all Quechua tribes/clans get together to celebrate their new year of Inti Raymi who happens to be their Sun God.  It's really neat to see the different groups of people meeting up from the Andes mountain regions of Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru, and Chile...and of course they are all drinking their purple beer...chicha.  It's very filling.  The outfits are all so different from one another as are the people. Tourists from all over the world come to see this spectacular event.

In this area of the Peru, which served as our home base, people can see formal gardens in the center of town.  Almost every place you stay at has a central courtyard that has every type of geranium, tropical plant, and cactus.  Some of the cactus are similiar to the ones found in Tucson and it really grabbed my attention.  There were very slight differences between several varieties that looked to be similiar to the cholla and prickly pear cactus.  There is one that I love, the San Pedro cactus, that comes from the Peru region.  It does so well here in Tucson and it is my favorite next to the Organ Pipe and Saguaro cactus.  Look for them in the pics.

I also enjoyed looking at their potted plants and how they had things arranged.  Every country likes to arrange differently as you will see.  This city is very hilly and difficult to walk due to the elevation.  Like most latin countries, Peruvians enjoy color and arrangement so look for unique patterns everywhere.

Almost any place you go in the city will have something for the plant lover to discover.  What was most shocking to me was the use of the eucalyptis tree all over the place....groves of them.  I do love these trees and planted one myself on the property knowing full well that they love sewers and pushing up concrete....but there is something majestic about this tree. I love to raft and we went on the Urubamba river.  All along the river, you will just see these trees all over the place.

Quechua Dances...again no sound.
You need to go and see's an incredible place!!
Cui(or fried guinea pig) and as you can see, there wasn't a lot of meat:)

Fireworks during Inti Raymi


  1. A wonderful, great hike. Fantastic photos, more intimate then when one sees postcards.
    The hike is awesome and takes a lot of stamina. I have done some great hikes, wish I still could, but after an accident which involved my left knee, I am not able to go for strenuous hikes. I am enjoying your stories, pictures and your ideas about gardening. I have read so much about the history of the Incas and also the Aztecs.

  2. It was a challenge for me...I won't lie:) I love my walks here at night, but I don't think I'll do that hike again. It was amazing and we had a lot of laughs, but I don't think I'll be doing it again:) The elevation was the killer for me and I had headaches almost everyday:) Hope your knee gets better over time...and thanks for reading my blog:)


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