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Incidents of Travel in Central and South America 2010

Machu Picchu

PERU | Sunday, 28 November 2010 | Views [830]

Cusco is a really really fun place to be and I wish that we had more time to spend here and enjoy it. It is set in the mountains and the climate is really nice...not too cold. The buildings are all made from mud brick which sets a really rural feel to the place, but at the same time there are so many tourists and people cashing in on the tourist industry that you feel like you are in a big city. There are churches and Colonial buildings everywhere and the plaza is really pretty with gardens and fountains and at night it all lights up. It is a little more expensive than the other places we have been to lately, but Amy and I are both on the same page about how much we want to spend, so it works out really well and we are not worried about money at all. We are staying at a place called Ecopackers hostal and i think it is the best one we have been at so far. The staff are really nice and laid back and the rooms are pretty new and clean. We´re staying in a dorm room, which is not that bad surprisingly. Our other hostals all had room for just the 2 of us but this one is an 10 bed dorm, but its not annoying or anything.
It turned out that it was also the birthday of a Cuban guy who was staying at the hostal on the same day as Amy's and he had a big party planned. We had drinks at the bar at the hostal then that night we all went out to a club/bar down the street. I think Amy was the drunkest that I have ever seen her in my life and that is many times! She was so funny to watch dancing...the music was really good too. Luckily I wasn't drinking much that night and knew when it was time to leave because Amy doesn't remember getting home or even going out to the club at all! It is safe to say that the next day she felt a bit under the weather, especially because we got picked up at 10am and spent the day traveling in a taxi then train to Aguas Calientes near Machu Picchu. We arrived there in the early afternoon and Amy slept and I went for a wander in the town. It is such a cute little place with a small river running through the middle and massive mountains surrounding it on all sides. There are locals trying to sell you crafts in every second shop and all the other ones are restaurants.

The next morning we had to be up at 3am to queue at the bus station for tickets to Wayna Picchu, (the mountain that overlooks Machu PIcchu) because only 400 people per day are allowed to climb it and we wanted to be one of those people. The bus left at 5:30am and we were the first ones on it and we were counting all the people who had started to walk the hill (that is the other option, a 2 hour walk up a massive hill),  and there were only about 50  so we were garunteed tickets...that was a good feeling! We also had a tour in the morning and it was really good. I don´t really know much about the Inca so it was good to ave someone tell the whole history of the Incas and a good description of the site and the surrounding area. The tour went for about 2.5 hours then we went to climb Wayna Picchu. It was hard from the start and looking up at it from the site just astounded you because it looks impossible. In actual fact it was not the hardest climb that I have done in my life, you just had to take it slow and have some rest stops along the way. The view fromt he top was awesome!!! We were so high up and you see a panoramic view of the surrounding mountains and the river; it was absolutely beautiful! The climb down only took about 25 minutes, then we were going to walk all the way back to Aguas Calientes but it started raining just as we started so we decided to take the bus back. It was a very good decision as the rain started to pour down and we were nice and dry in a restaurant. The rest of the afternoon was wasted away looking and buying many local crafts at the markets...seriously i have to stop buying stuff, i dont have anywhere to put it anymore. Although i did buy a bag so now i can just put it all in there. We got an upgrade on the train ride back and it was honestly the best train ride I have ever been on. I started falling asleep and just as i was nodding off they nounced a local dance presentation and this guy dressed in the most colourful costume i have ever seen came dancing down the aisle. It was so funny, he was wearing this little mask thing and kept getting people to clap along with the music. Then i thought that was it for the entertainment, they anounced a fashion show of all the local llama and alpaca woolens. The 3 train hosts catwalked it down the asile wearing different clothes with people whistling and cheering! I was in hestarics, it was the funniest thing that i had seen on a train; very good to pass the time.

We arrived back at the hostal about 9 that night and slept really well that night. The next morning we met up with Amys friends Nadine and Chris and went out for a coffee with them. They're doing  Machu Picchu tomorrow by motorbike which is a really cool way of doing it! We spent the rest of the day relaxing and exploring the town...we even saw the famous 12 sided rock, but it was nothing better than a 12 sided rock. We met Chris and Nadine again for dinner then had a rink at the hostal bar afterwards, but they couldn't stay up last because they were leaving the next morning. We were sharing a room with 2 girls called Susan and Louisa and it turned out that some money was missing from both the girls and Amy too....I didn't have any missing. So we went and spoke to the owner and he said that he'd reimburse us which is really nice of him, we wern't expecting that. We dont think it was anyone in the room, maybe a worker or cleaner or something. Oh well, these things happen.


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