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Notes on the Geography of Peru: Cusco: Photo 1

world pictures Peru: Cusco

The National Geographic caption would read something like: "The snow-capped peak of Ausangate rises 60 miles beyond thriving Cusco." Here's the less chirpy version: "Cusco, population half a million, fills a valley draining southward, away from the camera." Drive toward that pass in the distance and your nose will tell you that the runoff flows that way. It's the logical place for Cusco's sewage-treatment plant, of course. Fortunately for the tourist industry, the historic center is up here, at the head of the valle.

P.S. If Ausangate doesn't look like it's 20,000 feet above us, that's because Cusco is already halfway there.

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