Saturday, May 12, 2007
After getting on the earliest possible train to Machu Picchu we arrived at the site at 8am after a one-and-a-half hour ride, and to our surprise there were already quite a bit of people there (about 100). No worries though, the ruins are big enough to accomodate a substantial amount of people (probably 1000) and still have a comfortable feel.
We spent the rest of the day between the Machu Picchu ruins and hiking the neighboring ruins of Wayna Picchu. The views are really breathtaking and spectacular, and as usual pictures cannot convey the tru beauty of what we saw in person.
The treck through Wayna Picchu turned a bit hairy for us when Kevin decided that he wanted to take the road less traveled on the way back. This put us in the position of having to climb all the way around the giant mountain in order to get back to base camp, and added about two hours to our expedition. In addition, it was up hill most of the way so I literally felt as if I had been chained to a stairmaster for three hours!! By the last 45 minutes, my right leg was giving out and I was frustrated by what seemed to be our lack of progress toward base camp. I was out of breath because of the altitude and the exhaustion and I was getting snappy with Kevin, frankly I felt like wringing his neck at times but I just didn't have the energy. Then suddenly, we turend a corner and we could finally see our final destination.
We descended the mountain just in time to catch our 2:30 train back to our hotel in Ollantaytambo where I promptly collapsed on the bed for a recovery nap. The visit to this amazing site is definitely worth it, but it is an expensive expedition: round trip train tickets $56/ea, entrance fee $40/ea, bus transfer $6/ea...day spent at Macchu Picchu: Priceles!!!
We are now in the lovely colonial city of Cusco where we procured a great comfortable hotel with true hot water on call and fluffy soft pillows. We did the day tour of the city and surrounding ruins yesterday and today we will walk the rest of the city and at 6pm we have tickets to go to the Big soccer game in town. Woohoo!