Old Skool

Trip Start May 17, 2010
Trip End Mar 31, 2011

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Flag of Peru  , Cusco,
Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Our train got partly cancelled because of floods, so we had to take a 2 hour bus to Olliamtambo first, then Peru Express to Aguas Calientes (the little town at the bottom of the mountains) which was another 2 hours. The train ride was lovely, you get to see a lot of the country side as you more up into the hills. Aguas Calientes self is a tourist made destination, it consist only of hostels and restaurants , a small square with a statue and a market place. The market place upstairs had the best food deals with a 3 course menu for 2 dollars, where the restaurant was about 20 times as much plus tried to rip us off with a tourist tax of 33 percent (apparently common here).

The next morning we got up at 4:45 to get in line for the busses up the mountain. Although we had bought our tickets the day before (which we found out you know have to, luckily just on time), we didn't know about a separate line for the bus, so we still had to stand in line for 1.5 hours to get a bus ticket before standing in line to get the bus. Then, once up the mountain, there was another line to get in. This is mostly because people want to be there with sunrise, as well as register for ***, which only allows 400 visitors every day. In hindsight, we might as well have gone later as it rained intensely the whole morning (so no sunrise) plus we were too late to register for ****.

Having said that, nothing can take away from the experience once you are up there. You pay a fortune and it’s a real tourist-type hassle, plus it poured with rain so were were drenched, onceyou see that sight you have seen on many pictures before it does really take your breath away. You can do several walks up there, if you do all I believe it totals 8 hours, and we did several to get the different views and look around the ruins of the old Inka village with amazing history. We chose not to the traditional 4 day trek because it quite expensive, rain season plus needed to be booked well in advance which we couldn’t do as we were travelling with others. But, something we would consider coming back to do in the future!
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