The rain poured outside so we decided to take our time over brekkie rather than go for the Saqsayhuaman, Tambomachay, Puku-pucara trifecta that we had originally envisioned. The staff at our B&B have been lovely and we chatted to them for a good forty minutes or so, selfishly practicing our Spanish in the meantime.
We headed out at the leisurely time of 9am and took a look around the San Pedro market, a mad mix of juice bars, butchers and brick-a-brac stalls.
While there was a bit of touristy stuff about, the market was used largely by local people going about their daily chores. The smells of fresh juice mixed with warm tripe will take a while to forget!
After the market we head up through the backstreets of the San Blas neighbourhood, in the direction of the hilltop fortress of Saqsayhuaman.
After a breathless walk (still getting used to being 3,000m+ above sea level), we sat at the main lookout over Cusco for a good half hour and watched the clouds roll in and out of the valley.
The stones used in the walls of the fortress are colossal and it is said to have been the strategic centre of the region, as he who controlled Sacsayhuaman, controlled the route along the valley.
Due to its proximity to Cusco, and the tactical significance it held, much of the stone was removed from Sacsayhuaman by the Spanish invaders. However, most of the heavy stonework with its immaculate jointing remains intact. A pizza for late lunch back down in town warmed us up after the blustery afternoon on the hill, but its fair to say this kind of weather could be the least of our worries once on the Inca Trail.