Day 108 - Bobbies birthday at Machu Picchu

Trip Start Jun 14, 2013
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Peru  , Quintana Roo,
Sunday, October 6, 2013

Getting up at 5.30am is never easy, I didn't get up until just before 6 but Bobbie was up on time to straighten her hair and get ready. Our pre arranged taxi was waiting at the corner at 6.30 to take us to the train station in Poroy, a 30 minute drive to the next town, to be at the station half an hour before our departure time of 7.45am. On the way in the taxi we got to see some of the outer Cusco areas up the hill and in the next town. There are lots of mud brick run down houses with stray dogs everywhere, you see lots of dogs getting around Cusco but up in these areas it's twice as bad. We saw dogs in the skip bins and around the rubbish areas, some dogs having sex, dogs everywhere! These outer areas are where the poorer people live. We also drove through a market area that's just on the side of the road, all the local farmers bring their produce down early in the morning and people come from everywhere to buy up. Once we arrived at Poroy station our taxi driver dropped us off and told us he would be back to pick us up when we return which was arranged by the nice girl from the hostel. We arrived half an hour before the scheduled departing time as written on the train tickets, we got a coffee and some banana bread and croissant to eat and waited for the boarding. About 10 mins before the departing time they opened the doors to the area with the train and begun boarding. You show you ticket and passport at the appropriate carriage and find your seat, Bobbie and I had 2 seats together with a good view out the window, a few seats didn't have a window which pissed a few people off, you could see outside wherever you sat, there were windows on the roof as well but some seats had an obstructed view from the panels holding all the windows together. The train ride was 3 hours long, the train goes fairly slow as we only cover 94km in 3 hours. It's not a bad thing though because you get a really great view of the amazing scenery Peru has to offer. You wind through a few small farming towns where the locals wave to the train, lots of picturesque mountains and the train follows a river most of the way to the sacred valley and the last town where the train stops Aguas Calientes. On board the train we were served snacks and drinks about halfway through. Although it took a long time to get there the scenery you get to watch go by makes the long trip worth it, we took a few photos and enjoyed the ride. Once we arrived at Aguas Calientes we wasted no time in finding the bus station and getting on board one of the buses that runs up and down the mountain every 5 minutes everyday. The tickets were pretty cheap, the trip lasts 20 minutes up a windy mountain road. Making our way up the mountain in the mini bus at time was pretty freaky, it's only a one way road and with other buses coming down going around blind hairpin corners at times you come pretty close to running into another bus or even off the mountain. A couple of times we had to stop and reverse to let other buses through, they do this everyday all day so I'm sure they know what they are doing. Once we got to the top of the mountain at the Machu Picchu gates we found ourselves a guide to show us around, he was an older man that seemed pretty nice and his English was ok, we got a private tour for 150soles, his name was Braulio. We made our way through the gate with our tickets and passport and Braulio met us on the other side. First he took us to a lookout point just near the front entrance so we could see the amazing site and he could also take our photo for us. It looked spectacular, we had waited and traveled a long way to be hear and the expectations were high and the ancient Inca city didn't disappoint. After having a few photos Braulio begun his tour by siting up down up in the agricultural area of the site and gave us a run down on the history and how the place was discovered. He told us he speaks Inca as his first language so he was extremely knowledgable about everything from the surrounding mountains to the insides and out of the ancient city. Over the next 2 hours Braulio took us right through the city giving us in depth information on everything Machu Picchu, his tour was terrific and very informative, we were both very glad we got a proper tour for this place, being one of the 7 wonders of the world it's worth to know the real story behind it, just like we did at Chichen Itza in Mexico another one of the 7 wonders. Once he finished his tour it started to rain for a while, we quickly got a photo with him and put on our rain coats and tried to look for shelter. It didn't rain too hard, it drizzled on and off for the next hour or so but it didn't ruin the day in anyway. For the rest of the afternoon up until we had to head back down the mountain at 3.30 to get the 4.45 train we explored the site by ourselves, trying to get to every section so we could see it all. There seemed to be thousands of other people there, at certain points it got crowded in areas, some people would walk way to slow but it's no different to any other popular tourist destination we've been too so you come to expect it. We took a few walks out to other varies parts surrounding the main site. We walked up a shitload of stairs, took a ton of photos and had an amazing day. Being Bobbies birthday she really enjoyed it, I even had a surprise to make it even more special. By about 3pm, 4 hours after we started, we had seen pretty much everything, we thought we would make our way back down the mountain on the bus early so we know for sure we won't miss the train. Once we arrived back in Aguas Calientes we walked around the markets for a while checking out all the hand made Peruvian products, lots of alpaca wool nits like gloves and beanies, wooden instruments, toys, jewelry, silver, tapestry and trinkets. Soon enough it was time to head back into the train station and wait for the boarding, the half an hour wait seemed to go on forever as we were starting to get tired from being up early and having a big day. We finally boarded the train and unfortunately we did not have seats together, I was a bit pissed off at first because we wanted to look at our photos and read the book Bobbie had purchased, but I thought I might sleep or write blogs on the 3 hours back so it didn't matter, I was going to ask the guy who sat next to Bobbie to swap seats but I didn't want to be a nuisance making people swap seats. I sat on the window next to an American lady who was really chatty, at first I wasn't feeling talkative but after a while I actually enjoyed chatting with her, we ended up chatting like 2 old ladies all the way back, she had been hiking with her daughter and another friend around Machu Picchu for 5 days and was very interested in our trip. Bobbie sat next to a French Canadian dude who she thought looked like Bradley Cooper so she was ok with not sitting next to me either. It was dark most of the way back so we couldn't see the scenery anymore and the train had to stop for half an hour, I'm not sure why but it made us late and the ride seemed to go on forever. Once we made it back the taxi driver was waiting for us amongst the other hundreds of transport vehicles. We gave the French Canadian a lift back into the city with us as he had just finished the Inca trail and didn't arrange a taxi. We got the driver to drop us in the main plaza as we were both starving and exhausted and wanted something quick. Bobbie ended up choosing KFC which turned out to be a really bad decision as it was terrible, nothing like what we had in Lima which was why Bobbie made the choice. After our shit dinner we struggled back up the hill to our hostel. We made it back at about 10pm, a 17 hour long day. I briefly skyped with my dad and then we went to bed as we were very tired.
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