Once again I go on the train to Machu Picchu, and I find the place more or less as magical and captivating as the first time I visited back in 2002
. It's cloudy and light rain most of the day, and it makes it a slightly different experience from the sunny day back in 2002. I was afraid that visiting a second time would somewhat ruin my memories from the place, but not a chance. It's just a wonderful place I think everyone who got the opportunity and interest should go and see at least once before they head six feet under. I would of course have liked to see Machu Picchu at sunrise after four days of walking The Inca Trail (or alternatively after the five days Salcantay trek), but decided to join Raquel on the train instead. I plan to do some trekking in Cordillera Blanca soon, and then as I mentioned in a previous blog, The Inca Trail is pre-booked for months and I haven't been able to find a cancelled spot.
Another week has passed (time runs quickly now) and it's time for me to say goodbye to Raquel for now. I am off to sea level again (finally) and the so-called City of Kings.
So I am back in Cuzco after eight days in the jungle. I just plan to stay here a couple of more days visiting the Sacred Valley, including the ruins of Pisac and Ollantaytambo, before I catch a flight to Lima (I cannot be bothered with another long-haul on a bus, after all the travelling getting to and from Manu National Park). But then I end up meeting Raquel, a former policewoman currently studying law. She's a very nice girl, I am not directly in a rush, and I am keen on "polishing" my Spanish, so I end up spending another week or so with her in and around Cuzco. We visit the Sacred Valley together, a place I haven't been to before, and I also end up revisiting Sacsayhuaman (sexy woman) and the other ruins around Cuzco, as well as Machu Picchu (yes, my travel plans kind of change on a day by day basis, or from blog entry to blog entry).