Aguai Calientei and Machu Picchu

Trip Start Jun 22, 2013
Trip End Aug 27, 2013

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Flag of Peru  , Sacred Valley,
Tuesday, August 13, 2013

12 August Machu Picchu

We left Cusco on the 12 august to go to Aguai Calientei, it was to be a mini bus and train, there was only four of going, the others had done various treks to get to Machu Picchu (I don't think my knees would have lasted, it’s quite a climb, over 4000 meters

We arrived at the station with minutes to spare (if they say the train is leaving at a certain time, it goes, it waits for no one) this would take about an 1 hours, it was quite a smart train, but full, they came round with drinks and snacks, I couldn’t get anything I was surrounded by Germans, but hey ho

We arrived and were met by our guide who took us to our hostel and our rooms were very nice and I had the best shower since I started this trip, hot water, plenty of pressure

We met the guide who told us the time we would be meeting up in the morning and how things would go

It was a 4 am meeting to get in the queue for the bus, and we would take it in turns to go for breakfast, it was a good thing as well because the queue was really long at 5am, we had met up with the others who had done one of the treks, some had blisters and sore legs and knees, I reckon they were grateful of the hot shower and comfortable beds (even though they never spent long in their bed)

We the bus turned up and we all piled on the second bus and made off up to Machu Picchu, it was quite a long ride, we saw lots who were walking up there, it’s a long walk and I would estimate at least 10 km, up a twisting road

We arrived and joined another queue and joined that, our passports and tickets in hand, it was still dark and by now about 5.45am, the gates opened at 6am, so we never had long to wait, they had 4 gates open and have it all well sorted out, so it was just a ticket/passport check and we went in,

The best place in the morning was the sun gate, so we made our way there

I have seen piles of rocks and some and ruins, but this had been restored and was still undergoing restoration, so it looked impressive, it’s surrounded by really high mountains (that if you had the right ticket could climb)

It wasn’t as cold as I expected, but some of the steps and walkways were precarious, so it was a case of getting to the sun gate before the sun rose above the mountains, we could see the sunlight creeping along the mountains, but we did make it with time to spare, so our guide gave us a bit of a history lesson (I have now learnt to take notes)

Machu Picchu is 2453 meters above sea level, is semi-tropical, and is part of the Vicabamba Batolite formation, a mass of igneous rock 250 million years old. The most common stone found is greyish white granite which carries a high content of quartz, mica and feldspar and is easy to work and shape and work with by the Andean stone masons (they have done a great job, each stone interlocks and has stood up to many earthquakes)

In 1874 the Peruvian government asked a German cartographer to map the area, using the names Maccu Picchu and Wayne Pincchu for the first time in a modern era, many others would return many times to try and find the 'lost city’

The local farmers call MachuPicchu which means ‘Old Mountain’ Hiram Bingham called it ‘The lost City of the Inkas’

Hiram Bingham, a North American professor came to South America (1900) to research the military campaigns of Simon Bolivar. Having taken up and interest in Incan culture, Bingham travelled Cusco, he had Sergeant Carrasco who served as his translator

While travelling through the SACRED Valley of the Incas, they stopped at a place called Madorpampa, were they met an Indian farmer who gave them information about a ‘ruins’ at the top of the ‘Old Mountain’ for this information he got a coin for his trouble

When Bingham got to the bottom of the mountain, he found 2 familues living there; they grew crops on the terraces located on the lower part of the Eastern parts of the city

It was one of the children who led the explorers to the archaeological remains of the city

On July 24th 1911 they arrived at the Royal Tomb, the principal temple and at last ‘Temple of the three windows’, since that day , it has been known as the Day of Scientific Discovery of MachuPicchu

His expedition was sponsored by Yale university and National Geographic Society, The Peruvian government assumed the conservation of Machu Picchu, with the Regional Management of Culture, Cusco (which is the official entity in charge of the conservation of Machu Picchu,)


Well after all this education I have now given you, enjoy the video I have made of the photos (along with a suitable soundtrack)

I hope you enjoy it enough to post a few comments


I had a wander about Aguai Calientei, and I saw blokes hauling some barrows with horrendous loads in them, they really must have something in common with the Nepalese porters) the roads are really steep

There is a river that runs through the centre of Aguai Calientei, and there are lots of bridges that connect both sides of the town, and HEY, they still use the good old Bailey Bridge, they were constructing another one while I was there (I don’t suppose they did it the same way we used to, by hand and sheer muscle power, but the bridges they are triple singles they are building, enough to takeany trucks they want to send across it)

In the town square is a statue which is purported to be the last Inca, but I have no idea who he is, but he gives the pigeons somewhere to sit

Aguai Calientei, is not a cheap place to eat or drink, but as it’s the closest to Machu Picchu there is no other choice, the place is full of back packers of all ages, and even tourists lugging roll along suitcases, but they are in the minority, as they have porters lugging their suitcases, backpackers carry their own bags

For a change the weather was warm, bright and sunny, and I guess we were lucky as the weather at Machu Picchu over the past few days has been pretty dire, cold, wet, raining, and overcast

After wandering around Aguai Calientei, and Machu Picchu my thighs felt like they were on fire, my knees and ankles felt terrible, so I just went into the market and bought a few bits to take home, the market seems the only place that is flat and have no steps, after that I just found somewhere to sit down, have a coffee and wait for our train to return to Cusco

On our return to Cusco, I went off with Rob, Chris and Mario and I had a huge half chicken for my dinner, it was great and really well cooked

We are moving out from Cusco, 15 August (we have been here 7 days now, so it’s time to continue our journey) and it’s too be an early start

Colin has been working on the truck, last I heard he was replacing some of the syncro mesh gears and the truck was up on blocks, just hope he gets it all back together or we won’t be going any where (he has put in 3 types of gearbox, with a break

Mario has told me that I can't be English, as when he speaks to me, I cant understand him, so I cant be English, this I think is daft, as he speaks several languages and none of them make any sense to me, but he is fully conversant in ruubbish and gibberish and when I use that on him he can fully understand me

Despite all the bugs and bites I will be glad to get to a lower altitude, the altitude sickness has been bad for me, but the cocoa leave tea has really helped, but at times a breath feels like it’s going to be your last, but after 7 days I have learned to cope with it and it hasn’t stopped me doing anything (at sea level, oxygen levels are 21%, I think it’s about 17-18% at this height)

The internet has been poor here, haven’t been able to connect on the laptop at all, so maybe our next stop will be better
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Anne on

what a great set of photos
and it sems you done allot of walking

Anne on

Really enjoyed all your blog but seeing the pictures with the music was well worth waiting for

colin on

taking notes are you?? impressive!
next time try taking notes of the town names as well, it's always fun decrypting your made up names. aguai calientei = aguas calientes. no wonder noone gets your english =P

derrick241 on

Hi Colin,
Nice to see you are still correcting me
Where would I be without you
I got the spelling off others on the trip, but I know what I mean, I got the photos :-P

greekcypriot on

Wow Derrick, I just saw the video. What a bright idea to share all these photos!
Loved it.

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