Cusco: The start of high altitude cities
Hopping off the plane, we finally arrived in Cusco and I already felt the effect of high altitude. Cusco is about 11,200 feet high and the air is really thin. I took my altitude sickness pills two days before, but I didn't think it had any effect on me at all.
We did not do much in Cusco, partially because we were trying to adust ourselves with the altitude.
This is another Plaza de Arms at Cusco.
At the end, we went to a restaurant for a delicious Qunioa soup.
Here is a little interesting fact about qunioa in Peru. Quinoa is used to be the staple food for Peruvians and it was a major diet for their daily meal. However, as of recent (probably the last 7 years), quinoa has received a lot of attention from the Western societies because of its richness in nutrition. As a result, the price of quinoa skyrocketed because of a sudden increase in demand from Western countries. Consequently, local Peruvians were unable to afford quinoa on their own. Farmers of quinoa would rather sell their crops to the Western world, than to consume them for their own health. I was told from a tour guide that the surge in quinoa price had to alter many of the South American's diet. To me, this sounded a little sad, but at the same time, the tour guide told me that quinoa price has improved their standard of living and lifestyle. I guess, in a way, the overall effect is still positive.