Sparky Travels

April 20, 2011

Machu Picchu

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — admin @ 10:35 pm

We were up at the ungodly hour of 3am to try and get and get some of the restricted number of tickets for Huayna Picchu. Stephane decided to walk up to the jewel in the Incan crown but mindful of my ankle I opted to join the others and the hordes of tourists on the bus up there. We had to queue for the bus for 2 hours till 5:45am which got us in the fourth bus going up and assured of being among the 400 who got tickets for Huayna Picchu. After the zigzagging bus up and queuing for various tickets we finally entered Machu Picchu at 6:30am. As we walked in the whole complex was shrouded in clouds but with perfect timing they began to clear revealing the majesty of the place!DSC03164 DSC03165

Elvis gave us a tour of the complex for a couple of hours, displaying his comprehensive knowledge of the site and a good insight into the important parts. DSC03192 DSC03197

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Just as he was leaving he got a call to say that our train out had been changed to 2pm! It was meant to be 7pm but we’d been told it would be 9pm. We’d asked as a group to have it changed back to 7pm but instead they had moved it a further 5 hours forward. Needless to say we were unimpressed. This left us less than 3 hours until we had to go back to town so we joined the queue for Huayna Picchu, the sacred mountain overlooking Machu Picchu. It was a hard hour walking up to the top. I’d erroneously thought that given the popularity of the tourist attraction, the route up would be safe and easy. Instead it was a steep and treacherous route of steps cut into the mountain with infrequent hand rails. The view from the top was impressive but we had little time to enjoy it as we had to make our way back down so we didn’t miss our train.

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Fortunately I’d opted for my trainers rather than the evil boots and my ankle felt a lot better allowing me and Stephane to gallop down at a fun pace. We wound our way towards the exit and caught the bus down to Agua Calientes and rushed to the train station cursing the lack of time to further explore the whole reason for our 4 day trek. We were pacified though when we got on board the train and realised they’d bought us 1st class tickets for the ride to Ollantaytambo. We sat back in much needed luxury and enjoyed our meal, wine, pisco sours panoramic windows as the train rumbled through the beautiful countryside.

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At Ollantaytambo we were picked up by minibus and returned to Cuzco, with a stop on route to marvel at some beautiful rainbows. Back in Cuzco, I had a well deserved sleep, Bembos burger and repacked my bag. Machu Picchu…tick.

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