Almost Picchu Perfect

Trip Start Sep 20, 2010
Trip End Dec 18, 2011

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Where I stayed
Pirwa Backpackers

Flag of Peru  , Sacred Valley,
Thursday, June 30, 2011

Once the tour was over we headed down to Aguas Calientes to meet Caroline. The rest of the group stayed up in Machu Picchu to look around some more but as we were coming back the next day we were looking forward to getting into a shower as soon as we could! After hugs and hellos, Caroline and Alan headed to their hotel and we to ours. There was lunch planned with the entire group and the guides so we got cleaned up and headed down. Aguas Calientes is not the nicest town as you'd expect for a place whose sole purpose is to cater to tourist heading to MP. Constant hassle as you walk the streets from waiters gets a bit irritating after a while. We met up with everyone, had a good lunch, tipped our guides, got some certificates (woohoo) and made plans to meet up with everyone back in Cusco when we got back. We had a great group and from what we’d seen on the trek were definitely lucky we picked SAS instead of Llama Path! We went for dinner with Alan and Caroline and she told us what she’d been up to as we bored her with non-stop Inca Trail talk. I’m sure she’ll have to put up with that from Alan for a while!

The next day the 4 of us headed back up with hopes for better weather as Liz and I planned to climb Huayna Picchu. We were also meeting up with two of my friends, Donnchadh and Lucy, who are travelling around SA at the moment too, and were on their way up from Cusco on the train today. We wandered round the ruins a bit more and then headed up the hill as Donnchadh and Lucy were running a bit late. They finally made it and we even got to see them running to the base of the hill from the top. A half hour later they made it to the top just in time to be told it was closing as it was starting to rain. We reeled off a few quick photos (really cool views) and headed back down in the slow train of people negotiating the steep and slippery steps. We left Don and Lucy to do the rest of MP in the lashes of rain and got ourselves out of their and back down to AC.

We all met up later for the (slow) train back to Cusco. Even the cheap trains are pretty nice and have windows in the roof for admiring the views as you chug through the mountains. Unfortunately it got dark about an hour in and we only had each other’s mugs to look at for the next 3 hours. We finally ground into Cusco and headed back to our hotels. Before we headed out we made a quick stop at Alan and Caroline’s hotel to say goodbye (and drop off a hard drive full of photos, can relax now). It’s been great having them around the last week or so and now we can tick off seeing all of both our families on the trip!

We headed to 7 Angelitos to meet up with the Inca Trail gang and had our fair share of beers and mojitos. Once again a great group and if any of them are in London, once we get back, hopefully they’ll look us up. The night did end up with us all a bit worse for wear (Liz a bit more so!) searching the Plaza de Armas for a final drink. Maybe we all should have headed home a bit earlier as the girls weren’t much fun the next day!
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