How do we get there from here???

Trip Start Jan 04, 2008
Trip End Apr 08, 2008

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Flag of Peru  ,
Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Rainy day...who knew it was the rainy season?... so we immediately start investigating a sudden trip somewhere else where the sun is shining...Thailand seems like an obvious choice...a little far away but sunny and warm....or maybe Argentina...might be time for Patagonia...or maybe Bolivia...or maybe we can just sit tight until the sun comes out for a change...
Meantime, I'm trying to cook my hand washed laundry on a portable got soooo cold last night, we begged a little heater off of the woman who runs the hostel...dual purpose...keeping the chill out and toasting the would never have dried otherwise in this high altitude, cold air, rainy at the moment, climate...and it worked great...although in the middle of the night...ZAP... smell the burn...the wire can't handle it anymore and burns through...but our clothes are dry....
We're high up....this town - Cusco - is at 10,200 ft elevation.... getting used to the lack of plentiful's mostly hilly all leaves me panting every few blocks...but I think it's getting better...Cusco is the heartland of the Sacred Valley, where there are lots of Incan ruins and a bunch of small towns within a few hours travel.  It's also the next logical stop along the way to Machu Picchu so it's a heavily touristed town.  But even with that, it's very charming and I could see using this as a home base for the next few weeks.  Plus it's got this chocolate shop that makes rich and truly exquisite hot chocolate...the kind that alters your consciousness for a few hours....mmmmmm....
I've been told that you simply can't go to Peru without a trip to Machu Picchu.  So what do I know about MP?'s way high up in these steep mountains, it's the lost city of the Incans (maybe, it's debatable), it's connected with all sorts of spiritual intensity, the pictures of it look pretty cool, and it's the most heavily touristed destination in Peru, which is a little daunting.   But we committed to a trip up there today.  Apparently, there are a few ways to get foot on the Inca trail ...4 grueling days up and down and around mountains...tempting, maybe once I get some new knees...but for now, it's far more than I want to take on......and then there are a host of train/bus possibilities, the method most visitors use which usually includes a tour guided scene....something we rarely seem to do although the ease of this method is we're taking a combo route.  A little driving thru the mountains...some hot springs along the way in a teeny town....a rather interesting looking river crossing...sitting in a little cart and pulling yourself across the canyon by the cable....then a day of hiking (I'm assured that were hiking on something more significant than a llama path) until we arrive in Aguas Calientes...a crack of dawn visit to MP so that we can see the sun rise over it early the next morning...of course that's what I believe we signed up four days, I'll report back on the reality....
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