Monday, July 27, 2009

Machu Picchu Adventure

We got into Cusco at 4:00 and were in hurry up mode from the get go. We got a van from the airport to the hostal, unloaded our stuff, and got back in the van to drive to the train station. The train station is an hour and a half away and we were supposed to be there at 6:30 for a 7:00 train. Our driver told us it would be no problem. About fifteen minutes into the ride he pulls over and tells us he has to wait a momentito (a little moment) for the mom of this kid that was chilling in the van with us. Twenty minutes later she shows up and by this point everyone is nervous that we will miss the train to Aguas Calientes. We pull up to Ollanta (the city with the train station) at 6:47 and are driver lets us out and says the station is a five minute walk down the hill. We took off running and it ended up being a five minute run. The train was boarding when we got to the gate and we had barely been sitting five minutes before the train was moving.

When we arrived to Aguas Calientes we bought our tickets to enter the ruins and then tried to find a hostal. Since it is the high season every hostal was booked. We found a hostal where we could sleep on matresses on the floor. The seven of us slept on three twin beds on the floor of a hostal lobby with about 15 other people. At 3:45 we 'got up' and went to wait in line for the bus. Unfortunately we had not bought our bus tickets yet and many other people got in line before us because they had their tickets. We got to Maccu Pichu at 6:30 but it was too late to get in line for the Waynu Picchu climb. We walked all around the ruins and there were very few other tourists up there because they were all in line for the other hike. Our group returned at 11 because we were so hungry and did not bring food up with us. We went back and atte and had to kill a lot of time in Aguas Calientes. After lunch we went on an hour hike down the railroad tracks and then turned around and came back. It was 1 am by the time we got back to our hostal in Cusco. The trip was quite an adventure and we were rushing or wasting time for most of the weekend. Tomorrow I am going to see some ruins in Cusco and Wednesday I am going to go on a mountain bike tour of the Sacred Valley. Thursday back to Lima and Saturday back to Chapel Hill!!!

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