How They Used to Kill Alpaca Back in the Old Days


This is a picture from Qenqo, it’s a set of ruins a couple KM (or maybe just one) from Sacsayhuaman. You get into Quenqo with your “boleto turistico” which I mention in this great article. Seriously, the boleto turistico is the greatest deal in terms of tourist items anywhere in the world. With it, you get into about 10 different locations, all of which are in and of themselves worthy of the full ticket price.

Normally when I’m in Cusco, I like to spend a full day at Sacsayhuman, and then get a taxi to take me to Tambomachay, PucaPucara, Quenqo and then I walk back to Cusco (the taxi will do this for about S/. 40 probably or less…you could probably go down to S/. 20…but don’t be a cheap ass…the difference is between 7 and 14 dollars).

Of those three ruins, Quenqo is far and away my favorite. It’s this neat basaltic crater looking thing that makes you feel as if some volcano bubbled up a massive stone graveyard and then went back to infinite sleep. As you are walking around the place, there are all kinds of tourist guides who will tell you all kinds of different stories about the place; all of them entertaining and none of them consistant with one another.

One of the coolest parts is top of the structure (seen in the photo above) where there is this altar type deal. Apparently (according to one of the guides) they used to slaughter Alpaca up there and then watch how the blood went down that groove. I guess this told them whether it was going to be a long winter or not (or who knows, even guys with Ph.D.s just make all this shit up…maybe they were just doing it because it was FUN!).

I have some more cool images of Quenqa, which is also the place where Rex Chatterman leaped into a dark cave to rescue a woman who had fallen there (a story of heroism that he probably doesn’t remember…sigh!).

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