Sunday, 11 November 2012

Day 126: Cusco to Machu Picchu and return

Hi folks
Today we wuz tourists! We were up at 3.30am to grab a quick bite and coco tea before getting our van at 4am. Our van driver was Peruvian. Need I say more? The van was packed with 13 people plus the maniac the driver, and we arrived at Olaytaytambo at 6am.

We then climbed onto the Inca Rail train for our trip to Agua Caliente. I love trains and this one was a beauty! But the gauge here is so narrow that the train rocks like crazy. Lots of rocky tunnels too. Shirl and I were assigned rear facing seats with these nice people (one from Corsica and one from Japan. Can you guess which is which?)

but swapped as soon as we could for a set that faced forward. The views were great but not quite as ooh and aaaah for us as for others because, of course, we're bikers and we see it all the time!

When we arrived at Agua Calliente we met our agent who took us through the village and got us onto the bus to Machu Picchu. That was a trip! About 30mins up a narrow set of repeating hairpins with other buses coming down the other way. And a gravel dusty road of course.

It was quite a relief to arrive at the site and have a break from travel.

The plan was that our guided tour began at 11.45 so we had a couple of hours just to wander around. It was the first time that Kiwi had been here.

The views were pretty good.

Now a lot has been written about Machu Picchu so I am not going to talk about it much. Enough to say that it was "discovered" by an archeologist from Yale University and has been determined to have been a site for religious, astronomical and agricultural study. Here are some of the scenes we saw through the day.

Mrs Llama and child.

Shirley and Mrs Llama and child.

Kiwi checking out some ruins. Hmmmm ..... Seem ok.

These terraces were used for growing plants. Apparently plants from lower altitudes were planted on the lower levels and then replanted on higher levels until a strain was developed that could cope. And vice versa.

Various buildings.

We met our guide at 11.45

and followed the yellow flag for the next 90 minutes. Up the hill

to the platform "Best photos of Machu Picchu!"

Hmmmm .... Check you out .... Hmmmm .... Seem ok.

Kiwi thought it was not too bad.

This fulla checked out Kiwi!

This is a two story building. People below and storage above. You can see the lintel for the floor.

The quality of the stone work was amazing. Remember no metal tools and some hundreds of years ago.

The bits sticking out are door hangers,

and so are these for a kind of garage flip-up door.

This rhombus stone points to the Southern Cross which the guide demonstrated with an iPhone.

And this one represents the Condor.

It was a popular place.

At one point we had to squeeze along a narrow passage - Shirley didn't like it, but she did it!

Everywhere we went people made a fuss of Kiwi. Churrrr!

After our tour we headed down to Agua Calliente with about four hours to kill. We found a restaurant with wifi and settled in for a while. So did these blokes.

Shirley gave them a tip to go away but it just made them play even louder.

At 6.40 we boarded the train again and then got on a real,bus to,drive back to Cusco arriving at 10.45. The driver told us that our hotel was over there. It wasn't. After wandering around for 30minutes or so we got a minicab which brought us to our hotel. We could have been more impressed but, what an amazing day! And now we are tired. Goodnight.

Today's run: 0kms by motorcycle buts lots by van, train and bus.
Cumulative: 31,062kms
Tip overs. 7

Location:Cusco, Peru.

1 comment:

  1. Great photos! I didn't know about how they developed new plant strains - genius! Did I tell you that my friend Justin who has been all over with the army reckons peruvian driving is the worst?