Monday, April 15, 2013

Day 3: Machu Picchu

Saturday, February 16, 2013
  • Leave to Machu Picchu aboard the Hiram Bingham train 9:05am arriving @ 12:24pm
    • On board we will have brunch, cocktails & unlimited drinks
  • Bus ride from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu & tour the citadel by English/Spanish guide
    • Afternoon tea & hor's deorves at Machu Picchu hotel
  • Depart from Machu Picchu @ 5:50pm & arrive in Cusco by 9:16pm 
I want to punch something. The alarm is going off at 6:30am. Isn't this supposed to be a vacation where you get to sleep in and relax? Breakfast will be served at 7:00am. Breakfast consisted of scrambled eggs, not the real kind, but powdered. I have this thing about eggs. Maybe from having fresh eggs in my house growing up, I have to have the real thing and made perfectly to my liking so this breakfast was...below my standards. We also had rolls and kiwicha. Kiwicha is a cereal that isn't eaten with milk. It was actually rather tasty. I also drank a bunch of Mate de Cocoa tea to help with my breathing. I felt like walking 10 steps was me running. Our ride was waiting for us at 7:30am, which took us on a 1/2 hour drive to the train station. We were greeted at the train station at 8:00am with mimosas and then we boarded a bus, which took us to the Hiram Bingham train an hour later. We had to take a bus because of it being the rainy season some of the train tracks were washed away by the rain.

Local street

Mountain with clouds

Local farmers market

8am Mimosas


Clouds rolling in

More Mountains with Clouds

The Hiram Bingham train is a luxury train that travels 2 hours to bring you to Machu Picchu. It includes a 3 course meal and unlimited drinks! The views were breath taking. The railroad follows along a river, which the Incans considered to be their "Holy River".
Once we arrived at Machu Picchu we were given a guide who led us to a bus, which then brought us up a long, winding road to the base of Machu Picchu. The road was muddy and stones made up most of it. It is a narrow road so when a 2nd bus needs to pass, it's a tight squeeze to say the least. There aren't any guardrails so if you slip, you're dead as you fall all the way down.
Machu Picchu is 8,000ft above sea level. We began our guided tour learning about the Inca's life. The theories behind what they believe was done in the ruins. It is just amazing to see such ancient ruins in wonderful shape, in their true beauty. It was raining as we started the tour, but not enough to soak us. Thankfully! We walked in and out of the ruins going further and further up. No railings, just what the Inca's made. By the time we made it to the highest point, it had stopped raining. It got really hot! We saw some animals, which to me, looked like squirrels at first, but then they looked like rabbits with tails. Not sure exactly what they are. The tour guide didn't give me an appropriate response. Just said it was a rodent. (I now know they were chinchillas!) Once the tour was over we were given 10 minutes to explore ourselves. So Osa and I headed off towards the absolute highest point as Chancho headed down to the restaurant and Chile went off in another direction. Once Osa and I got to the most scenic spot we were so winded it felt like I ran 20 miles. The view was stunning, nothing like I've ever seen. It took my breath away, literally. We trekked back down to meet llamas and alpaca. Took some pictures and then headed quickly to the restaurant to have some finger foods.
Back on the Hiram Bingham for another 4 course meal. We sat for about 40 minutes watching a Peruvian band play some music until our food was ready. The plan was to go out to the bars once we arrived back in Cusco, but we were way too tired.
Our table on board the Hiram Bingham

Our Menu for Lunch

Pisco Sour

Kids playing on the tracks

Natural tunnel

Machu Picchu!

Our rings - Chancho's idea

View from the highest point

This has been by far the best day yet and it's only day 3.

New foods I've tried so far:
Alpaca Smoked with mint: Not Good
Leak Soup: Pretty Good
Duck: Good (sandwich meat)
Cocoa Leaf Tea: Good

Quote of the Day: "You'll seldom experience regret for anything that you've done. It is what you haven't done that will torment you. The message, therefore, is clear. Do it! Develop an appreciation for the present moment. Seize every second of your life and savor it. Value your present moments. Using them up in any self-defeating ways means you've lost them forever." -Wayne Dyer

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