The hills are alive with the sound of ...

Trip Start Sep 03, 2011
Trip End Jun 04, 2012

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Flag of Peru  ,
Monday, January 2, 2012

... my puffing!

Machu pikachu is what Andrew nearly called it!

Haha! Now according to the tickets it is spelled "Machu Picchu - one word.  Come to think of it pikachu has alot of spelling variations also.
Anyway "Buenos Dias" to those in the morning, "buenos tardes" to those in the afternoon and "buenos noches"  to those who are in the dark.

Happy 2012 everyone!

As you may have seen from the photos, we made it Machupicchu. It was not easy to get up there, we are here in the rainy season, and it was not cheap for the five of us but truly spectacular and worth it. I now have one more thing to tick off my Facebook list of 100 things to see around the world.

On Tuesday we left our place in Qoya to travel 40 mins to a place called Ollantaytambo. From here the Peruvians make you catch a train to a place called Aguas Calientes which is a 2 hour trip. Our train was not until 4.30pm, so we opted to climb to a ruin in Ollantaytambo called Pinkuylluna   which was free and steep. There was another one that cost about$35AUS ea,  so we opted for the free one and got a pretty cool view of it from the other side of the valley. In vain we hoped it would be some kind of training and preparation for all the climbing we expected to do up in Machupicchu. For all our mountain climbing Tassie friends, if you want more climbing up mountains, come to Peru!  I should have done more training at home!!! Needless to say " I was exhausted but the ruins and view of the valleys and mountains, Ollantaytambo and the river was awesome!

Our train ride was deemed "executive", the seats were soft, with cramped leg space but we did get complimentary snacks and a drink. We did pass the First Class passengers on their way back, they had more ample seat room, a candle lit meal and Peruvian dancers prancing up and down the aisle.

When we arrived in Aguas Calientes it was raining and of course we couldn't find our hostel, so about 4 policemen later we were directed and collected to our hostel. It is a little tourist town/pitstop to get the bus to Machupicchu, so lots of  the typical  traps for the tourists: restaurants, cafes with wi-fi, money exchangers,  hotels/hostels and markets.

As Allysan suggested we woke up early to catch the first bus to leave at 6am, so we could be at the gates of Machuicchu for the 7am  opening and then to be in the first 200 to be let through to go up to Huaynupicchu. I was busy buying plastic ponchos from a street vendor when the bus came.

As an aside, have I mentioned how deep my love for Andrew is getting. This trip sure has made me see his good side and I vow never to take him for granted again. I also suspect he may have found my user name and password for this blog. Heh heh.


There are the ruins and then you pay extra to climb this other part called  Huaynapicchu. It was hard going but we made it except poor Samuel was feeling sick in the tummy, he stayed behind and waited for us. It was grey and threatening rain but the clouds and mist added to the atmosphere. It really was unbelievable that we were there. Huaynapicchu is a mountain  with more Inca ruins at the top of it. It is a steep climb up and even though we had to keep stopping to breathe, we made it. It also has a little hill beside it we climbed up that one as a dummy run, still puffing. Once we had climbed them, it was like "ok, if I can climb Huaynapicchu, I can climb anything else I have to!!"
We explored the ruins, rested, snacked, climbed some more hills, got wet, then hot, then cold but thoroughly satisfied.

We headed back down to Aguas Calientes about 4pm and got some Chinese food from the "chifa" and then boarded our train back to Ollantaytambo. We arrived back after 9 pm exhausted and stayed at a hostel there for the night .

In the morning Allysan picked us up and took us to Moray (Morai) where there were some ancient terraces that looked like amphitheatres. It is just amazing to explore these places that have been constructed so long ago with such limited technology and equipment. After a picnic lunch of bread, eggs, cheese, olives, radishes and other fresh goodies we walked down to the salt terraces.

This whole area is just a wonder. We climbed to explore more ruins on Sunday just at Pisaq, called Inti Watana, "where the sun hitches to the earth" and watched the sun set behind the mountain. The ruins of an old temple  and other buildings were there. 

Today we are heading back to Lima and will be very sad to leave this picturesque location. We look forward to the sea though and not being so out of breath climbing up a set of 5 stairs. Here is hoping that we don't suffer from motion sickness on our 22 hour bus ride.

Adios Sacred Valley, it has been awesome!
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Shannon on

These are truly wonderful photos- although you are all looking a little thinner. A must see, that I cannot wait to see with my own eyes. Your photos will do for now . Well done guys much love xxxxxx

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