Feb 10th 2011
From Chalhuanca to Cuzco. Found a cheap hotel with safe parking and looked for tours to Machu Picchu since the road going there is washed away, as in every rain season here. The only options: Bus + hiking or Train. The last one is the most expensive but also the easiest and fastest. I've booked a tour for the next day.
Many coca stores in Cuzco, they sell coca leaves and other coca products. Chewing the leaves increase alertness and reduces hunger, cold or pain, and also make your face numb. For what I've read coca leaves are not bad for you nor is addictive. They also sell it as altitude sickness medecine...
The Plaza near our hotel:
Emrah and Sheniz tried to get a gig in town to play music as DJ's since that's what they do, I've decided to go at Machu Picchu asap.
Took a cab to Ollantaytambo:
To then take a train to Aguas Calientes, where Machu Picchu is.
Met Jorge and Sebastian on the way:
They were going to stay up all night to hike the mountain to be in line to see Waynapicchu, the mountain in front of Machu Picchu. The places are limited, only 400 persons per day are allowed and you need to get there very early to get your access stamp.
Aguas Calientes: quite small, a few blocks with many hostel and restaurents, and a train staion.
I took the bus at 7am to get a guided tour included in my package deal. At the entrance this well fed homeless dog would do anything to get attention and a bit of love from the people there, found that cute.
Ok this is it, Machu Picchu, the place is really magical, no pictures can describe it. On top of a mountain, surrounded by other mountains, the location is just amazing. And the clouds would come and go.
The peak behind me; Waynapicchu, and yes you can go there on top!
The entrance of the town.
Pay attention on how big the rocks are and how they are joined together. It must habe taken a lot of time and attention to detail to build in such a way.
A sacred magical rock, apparently.
The farming area. Our guide said it took 90 years to build, but was never completed as many modern town are, constantly growing.
After our tour Sebastian and Jorge went in line to Waynapicchu, I wanted to go also but it was obvious I wouldn't have a chance, unless I just look inportant and skip the line and just enter. Fun fact: nobody stopped me and I could hike Waynapicchu :)
Macchu Picchu is just huge, you see some farming area much further down the mountain, I don't even know how you get access to this.
You also have houses and farming areas in Waynapicchu, and Machu Picchu look very small from that point of view.
Machu Picchu on the left;
We hung out here for about 90 minutes just resting and admiring the view.
There is running water going into the town: amazing considering we're on top of a mountain...
Many "shower stalls".
Rock caved steps; amazing!
When I got back towards the entrance I've found out where the water in coming from:
The little canal goes along some farming areas before beign directed towards the center of the town.
Many llamas in Machu Picchu, used as symbol as they've been used to build the town, but also as lawn mower, edge trimmer and grass fertilizer, I think :)
Back to Aguas Calientes after the whole day there, time went fast and I did'nt even explored everything, it's so big I didn't imagined that way.
Then back to Cuzco where I've seen Emrah from the window of a bar, then I saw their poster, they had a gig which is excellent for them, had a beer before calling it a day anf go to bed extremely tired.
I then left Cuzco the following morning, Jan 13th, to Puno, near Lake Titicaca and the Bolivian border, which will be at my next post.
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