Nothing Worth Doing Ever Comes Easy
Trip Start Jun 30, 2008
80Trip End Dec 31, 2009
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We left Cusco on Thursday about noon for a 7 hour minivan/mini suicide ride to Santa Maria. The next day we began our walk at 5 am!! We walked and got eaten by bugs for about 7 km to Santa Rosa where it became clear that Monique and others were not going to make the 14 km walk yet to come
Monique, Sophia and I caught a ride to Santa Teresa (with all these Santas, Christmas must be right around the corner!) and the rest continued by foot. We were so surprised that James and Sabrina completed the 22 km hike!!
The third day saw us walking another 7-10 km to Aguas Caliente (the base of Machu Picchu). It was hard for me to feel sorry for the blisters on Raymond's feet but we were all very proud of the kids effort especially Monique!!
The journey ended up costing more than we had expected based on what we were told and the fact that foreigners have to pay up to 10 times for everything didn't help things. Although Raymond took extra money along we realized that we were still going to be short. I was told that there were no ATMs anywhere near so I told Raymond his bank card was useless. However, I had to eat my words when we saw a brand new ATM right next to the place we were staying.
Things got brighter as we all thought we could get money from the bank machine to EAT and purchase the last ticket to Machu Picchu. We soon learned that bank machines require a bankcard of which Raymond could not find. Things were getting really interesting now and it was clear to me that it was time to begin my deep breathing and begin doing mental puzzles to prevent me from killing Raymond.
Well, to protect the people that pulled strings and the vultures that took advantage of our situation, lets just say that Donald Trump would have hired us as the Apprentice and we would have won the Amazing Race
Sunday morning, Raymond, Sophia (Sabrina wanted to but was not feeling well) and Ronald and his girl friend hiked up the mountain to Machu Picchu where we met at 8 am. We had two fabulous hours exploring and enjoying the wondrous views before it began to rain. Raymond, Sabrina and Sophia continued on to climb Wayna Picchu the highest point that looks down on Machu Picchu. This is a very difficult climb that only allows a limited number of people up each day but well worth the effort according to those that attempt and succeed climbing it.
By the end of the day, we were cold, wet, hungry and exhausted but we had an AMAZING TIME and will never forget this adventure. Don'tt tell Raymond but I'm glad we went the way we did as it was worth every step, every effort and every inconvenience.
We now say bye to the Cusco area as we head to Lima.
Did you know?
Machu Picchu (Quechua: Machu Pikchu, "Old Peak"; pronounced ['mĘ╗.tʃu 'pik.tʃu]) is a pre-Columbian Inca site located 2,400 meters (7,875 ft) above sea level. It is situated on a mountain ridge above the Urubamba Valley in Peru, which is 80 km (50 mi) northwest of Cusco and through which the Urubamba River flows
It was built around the year 1460, but was abandoned as an official site for the Inca rulers a hundred years later, at the time of the Spanish conquest of the Inca Empire. Although known locally, it was said to have been forgotten for centuries when the site was brought to worldwide attention in 1911 by Hiram Bingham, an American historian. More info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Machu_Picchu