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Each journey begins with a single step... Two kiwis escaping from the island to explore strange new worlds and boldly go where thousands have gone before... . .

Alternative route to Machu Picchu, Peru

PERU | Thursday, 30 July 2009 | Views [2036] | Comments [1]

Costs per person: Cuzco to Santa Maria by bus 15s, Santa Maria to Hidroelectrica by collectivo taxi 12s, Hidroelectrica to Aguas Calientes by train 24s. Total = 51s.

We were up at 6am to get to the Santiago bus terminal for the 7am bus. This is peak season so we had bought our tickets the day before but there's no need, the bus waited until all the seats were full (50% were tourists) and we left around 8am.

The journey was magic, it went through Chinchero and Ollantaytambo and headed up and over a pass where we reached the snowline and down to Santa Maria. Wonderful views and the bus stopped on the downward side at a roadside stall where we had a very delicious stuffed green pepper with a rice-noodle mix for 2s. We were around about this time passed by the 8am bus and had to stop to change a rear tyre. We finally arrived in SM around 2.30pm thinking we would have no chance of getting to Hidroelectrica in time for the train.

Sebastian (France) who speaks great spanish found us a ride all the way through to Santa Theresa where we bought our train tickets and on to Hidroelectrica for 12s each. Hearing some of the other tourist bargains they were paying 15s ea just to Santa Theresa so we were pretty happy. The driver was quick off the mark and we were the first out of there and he drove fast and well. At least it seemed fast. The road was dirt and narrow and cut into the side of a deep valley so we had 150mtr drop below and the same above. Kent was in the front and he said the guy went 50kph tops so it seems that we are really getting used to travelling slowly.

At Hidroelectrica the train was due to leave at 4.30pm and far from being late we arrived there with 40 minutes to spare. Everyone piled in but only allowing one person per seat and no-one standing and packs everywhere. A trip that should have taken only about 20 min but took about 3/4 hour because the train stopped often for unknown reasons but who cares, it was a great trip over the whole day!




Nice and clear description.

  machu pichu Jul 24, 2010 12:12 PM

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