A bowl full of coca leaves awaited us at the airport, which we ate with intrigue. Our taxi driver was the first to inform us that the city is shaped like a sitting Puma - to symbolize the power of the earth. At the head of the Puma is the temple of Saqsaywaman, and the body is surrounded by two rivers. Back in the days, the high ranking folks lived inside the Puma while the rest lived outside.
Cusco reminded me of Nepal in a déjà vu kind of way. Stray dogs, pixelated billboards, underpowered motorcycles, and similar brown faces. It is almost like God picked up a city from Nepal, dusted it a little bit, and gently put it down in Peru. I felt like I had come home...until I woke up in the middle of the night gasping for oxygen. That was not fun.