Machu Picchu

Trip Start May 02, 2012
Trip End Jul 31, 2014

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Flag of Peru  , Sacred Valley,
Monday, November 19, 2012

What a fantastic time we had at Machu Picchu…..! We caught the early morning train to Aguas Calientes (a 3-hour journey through the mountains) and as we were going up to Machu Picchu the next day, had time to walk around the town along with all the other thousands of tourists.   Aguas Calientes is the last stop before going up to Machu Picchu and it's a total tourist trap.   The markets and every shop sell the same things and it is just a town of hotels, hostals and eating places.  (The big item that all the young people seem to buy and wear is the knitted hat that covers the ears and then has plait things hanging down.  These are very popular in Cape Town too, and I think that everyone on the Cape Flats wears this fashion item – probably not with Machu Picchu written on it though!!!)   The hot springs (thus "Aguas Calientes") are also there, but unfortunately we hadn’t take our costumes!!   They do rent out bathing stuff, but I wasn’t very keen on the swimwear for rent – lots of little bikinis!!!!   We found a good basic hostal and had a room that overlooked the mountain and a very loud river that blocked out the sounds of busses below continuously ferrying people up the mountain.  The first busses for Machu Picchu take off from 5:30 onwards.   We did aim to get up early, but we so enjoyed having a room with a bathroom, that we eventually only got onto the bus at 6:00, after a good breakfast of fresh fruit.  It was a good move as by that time 6 busses had already left, absorbing the queue that had been waiting since 5 am….!   So we got up the mountain quickly, with relatively few people at the ruins.   We had bought ourselves a “walk yourself” book and found everything very easily.   We did listen in to the odd guided tour, but it was all in our book!!!!    What an amazing place Machu Picchu is.   We just LOVED walking around, taking in the scenery and imagining life there so many years ago.   By the time that we had finished – about 4 hours later – people were just pouring in, and there were queues to get anywhere.   We were very lucky that our early start meant that we had a quiet, sunny day to just wander, wonder and reflect….  It is something that I have always wanted to do, so it was a dream come true, and lived up to all my expectations.   It is said that one can feel an “energy” there, and it is true…..

We got another bus back down the mountain, and then onto the train for the return trip to Cusco, arriving at our camper at 9 pm in pouring rain.  

It has rained every day in Cusco – often at night – and last night we had a huge hailstorm.   It is very loud when the hail comes down on the camper top!!!   Last Thursday I was awake and felt a huge shake of the whole vehicle – with the camper tie-down chains rattling - almost like an elephant had just rocked the vehicle!!!  I woke Andy and told him that it had felt like an earth tremor… but he wasn’t very interested!!!   I thought that I must have been imagining it!!   But on the train back from Aguas Calientas, when we sat and chatted with 2 extremely interesting young guys one from Mexico and the other from Venezuela, they told me that a large earth tremor had been reported that Thursday night!!!!.   

I think that one thing that we have both really enjoyed on this trip to S America is the interestingly diverse people from all over the world that we have met and interacted with.  (In North America, Canada and Alaska, we didn’t really meet up with too many people and there was not the feeling of travellers’ camaraderie that is evident here….).   Today, for example, we were in a little agency trying to arrange a jungle tour starting at Puerto Maldonado, when we bumped into 3 young American students that we had met in Chachapoyas.   Great reunion and, as we had been to many of the same places since we last encountered each other, it was interesting to compare notes…..

Our camp site is overrun with Germans tonight, 5 groups all kitted out in smart overland trucks with every conceivable convenience…..  The French couple and baby are still here… And the llamas still come in every other day to graze…  A lawn mower doesn't seem to be necessary here!  We are spending 2 more nights in Cusco, and leave at first light the day after tomorrow for Puerto Maldonado.   We have booked what seems like a good tour to the jungle, but its all very haphazard.   Just hope that the tour organizer is kosher…..! 

After the jungle we are really excited to get to see Bruce and Nani in Brazil again.     I am also looking forward to getting home fairly soon as well!!!   Even though every day here is new and exciting, it will be good to be back to boring routine for a while!!!
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Justine on

What a wonderfully interesting time you are having. I am sooooo enjoying reading all about it. There never seems to be a dull moment and so nice that you run into folk you have met before. Love the pic's too. Thanks for sharing.

siyaya on

See you soon.... x

Gill on

So interesting. Lucky Andy likes getting up early! When will you get back to CT? Send love to Bruce when you see him xx

Justine on

Where are you? Missing reading your blog!

siyaya on

Had no internet access.... en-route home - VERY long trip... Have been travelling all night and all day from Guijara Mirim...Will see if I can summon the energy to write something tonight....!

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