November 18, 2010

Peru: Machu Picchu

After our last weekend shift at Loki Laura and I went to Machu Picchu. On Monday morning we took a car to Ollantaytambo where we caught the train to Aguas Calientes. The drive to Ollantaytambo was, of course, breath taking. Every time I see a mountain my jaw drops. I am pretty sure Laura is sick of me saying ¨wow! look at those mountains, they are amazing." I say this with a very slow drawn out tone. There were even snow top peaks off in the distance. Aguas Calientes is a town solely built off of tourism. The train even arrives in a market. Start shopping, tourists!

Tuesday morning started at 3:30am. To be able to climb Waynapicchu (which is the mountain behind the Inca ruins) you have to be one of the first 400 visitors which means you need to be at the bus stop at 4am to get in line. You can either hike up (two hours) or bus up (30 minutes) to Machu Picchu from Aguas Calientes. The first bus up to Machu Picchu is at 5:30am. As we arrived at the entrance to Machu Picchu there were about 50 people already waiting in line very sweaty with their shirts off (these are the hikers). We arrived in layers as it was very cold that morning. At 6am the gates open and you get your stamp to climb Waynapicchu. There are two climbing times, we climbed at 7am.

{ Laura and Tiffany with their Waynapicchu stamp }
Waynapicchu is pretty much straight up with cobble stone steps. The views, however, are worth all the huffing and puffing. The jungle goes on forever.

After a very sweaty morning  climb we spent the rest of the day exhausted but loved exploring Machu Picchu.

That afternoon we hiked down to Aguas Calientes, if I ever see a step again.

{ Aguas Calientes }
Tuesday night we returned to Loki Cusco. We had missed it and honestly wanted to stay because turns out we are the type to get sucked into Loki life and if we did not have a bus ticket our of Loki on Wednesday night we probably would have never left. Loki does become a type of home; smoke, cough, cold and all.

{ Last day in Cusco with Alyssa }

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