Machu Picchu

To my dismay (and my mom’s delight), my trip got cut a bit short.  An obligatory networking conference in Los Angles for school is taking the place of Ecuador and Colombia.   So anyway, Peru was my last real stop on Around-the-World Part II.  And now Los Angeles is my final stopover before heading to Michigan for two weeks and then moving to my new home in South Bend!

From Cusco I took the train (the lazy persons alternative to the four day sold-out Inka Trail hike) up to Aguas Calientes, the “city” at the base of Machu Picchu.  I spent the first day going to the supposedly informative museum, but unfortunately didn’t find it nearly as stocked with information as what Lonely Planet described it.  Maybe a lot of the explanations were lost in the English translations…

On day two, after waking up at 4:30am, I made it out of Aguas Calientes on the first set of buses up the 12 kilometers of winding road to Machu Picchu.  Inopportunely, it started to rain about the same minute I disembarked from the bus.  Luckily, this weather cleared out after about an hour.  Unluckily, the oftentimes dense fog took much longer to finally dissipate.  But it all worked out ok for my hike up Waynapichu.  This is the mountain behind the civilization in all of the famous pictures.  It is possible to hike it, though an additional ticket at a specified time is required.   I had heard some horror stories about six inch wide wooden bridges without handrails crossing ravines (with the potential for fire-breathing dragons chasing you down…) that you have to traverse in order to complete the climb.  Auspiciously, this wasn’t actually the case.  Parts of the climb involved relatively steep steps but that was about the extent of the scariness factor.  All of the walking I’ve been doing has paid off because somehow my legs weren’t even sore after the two and a half hour journey.

On the train ride back to Cusco, I had to splurge and spend an extra $8 for the “luxury” train because the cheaper train was sold out.  The extra $8 bought an on-board fashion show!  The crew members modeled alpaca clothing they were selling – mildly entertaining for ten minutes of the three and a half hour train ride…

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Categories: South America | 1 Comment

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One thought on “Machu Picchu

  1. stacey

    Clearly you were just climbing too fast… I’m pretty sure I crossed that bridge with the dragons right on my heels!

    And we’ll have to agree to disagree on the scariness factor. But I think you might have felt differently if we had been able to do the cave part. I found some video of that part trying to show people what we did & I can assure you I would rather have faced those dragons than joined you had you done it.

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