Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Peru - Day 2: Machu Pichu

challenge accepted.
Matthew 7:7 "Ask and it shall be given to you; seek and you will find" So that's what I did. I asked the Lord and less than a year later, found the majestic view of Machu Pichu! :) 

5:00 - Coldest morning ever
Because of the next to non-existent insulation in our hotel room, I woke up to 5° celsius room temperature that makes me want to not come out of my 3 layer non insulating blanket.
Good thing though that two out of the three in our trip was very dedicated to keeping up to schedule (clue: not me); so we were still able to bath,  pack, eat, check-out and go to the train station.
monitomanzanillaP1040144monita

6:30 - Bus Ride to Olantaytambo
The original plan was to take a train from Cuzco's Wanchaq station straight to Aguas calientes (base camp of Machu Pichu). But due to some heavy landslides, all train rides where cancelled to clear out the tracks. In exchanged though, Peru Rail (train company) booked us with a bus ride
from Cuzco up to Ollantaytambo, and start the train ride from there.
la salle asultraintraintrain

The bus ride took about 2hours, crossing a mountain or two and some very nice scenery of the country side.
P1040159P1040163+P1040166

8:30 - Ollantaytambo train station
Arriivng at Ollantaytambo proper, we still walked about 15minutes to go to the train station. But with a view like this who would complain! (Well I guess the people who have luggage trolleys.)
out of placescenic walkcheck in
the train that can
train girlperu rail train
Truth be told, I was extra giddy when I saw the train. Maybe it was the scenery or the big piece of heavy machinery or both! But my gulay! daig pa nito ang sinabawang gulay! All out of words giddy again. 

9:30 - Inside the train that can
The train consists of different carriages having different level of luxuries depending on the ticket price. From the carriages for the local where you can sit with the chickens and vegetables to the exuberant Hiram Bingham.
peru railmanny the shooter 
We were able to book everything online for about USD$48 to Aguas Calientes and a much steeper price of USD$60 on our way back. I'm not really complaining as the sight while on the train was well worth it.
country side open skiesmountain ranges
From the mountain ranges of the Sacred Valley to the rivers of Urubamba everything was a sight worth seeing again and again. Play the video to see the river during it's calmer moments.
white water

11:30 - Aguas Calientes and the search for Green Nature
Finally arrived at Aguas Calientes which you can consider as the base camp to Machu Picchu. First agenda was to go immediately to the Green Nature Hostel to leave our backpacks.
The immediately became an understatement as it took us almost 30minutes to find the hostel that was alongside the train station. This I would gladly blame to a not so precise (about 3 blocks and a bridge off) location map from their website. After asking different locals, which oddly enough, did not know where the hostel is, we were finally assisted and escorted by a town policia.

12:30 - Once upon a time in Chayña
We ate our lunch, had our way with chicha (drink made from purple corn) and had a little rest before heading for Machu Pichu.
ala cubanachaynacarbonara chichachori pizza

13:30 - Bus pa pichu
Since we were not able to buy Machu Pichu bus tickets at Cuzco, we had to buy it at Aguas calientes. The bus ticket costs around USD$15.50 for tourists but much cheaper for locals. 
The bus ride took about 20 minutes driving from a very steep dirt road up the mountain. The road can only accommodate two buses side-by-side from certain points of the road. With that the case, one of the highlights is when the bus suddenly stops when and has to drive in reverse just to accommodate an incoming bus. This happened several times on the curve part(blind spot) of the mountain.
snake road

14:00 - Machu Pichurs! \:D/
One word, majestic! One of the things that i liked is the way the clouds create highlights on certain areas of Machu Pichu and the surrounding mountains.
machu pichu and urubamba river IMG_0648IMG_0651IMG_0641
Mmushy pichu

15:00 - Finding his new groove
The Machu Pichu aside from being a well maintained ruin by their government, is also  a sanctuary for several Llamas. They freely roam around wherever they want and could care less about the tourists in their paths. 
llamaIMG_0615IMG_0611

16:00 - Inca Bridge
There were a lot of tour guides at the main entrance of Machu Pichu. They offered their services to us for SOL100 which is roughly PHP1500. Too expensive! So that's that.
We were roaming around the area and trying to just ask around where several paths would lead to. There was this Indian family who said that they will be walking to the 'Inca Bridge'. Having no idea what that is, we decided to go to there. Having no idea what it looks like,we were excited to go thinking to see some kind of big hanging bridge connecting two mountains.
20minutes walking on a very narrow cliff cutting half the excitement... and then we were there... saw the bridge and killed the other half. :))
That is if you considered the bridge as the piece of wood separating the other side of the ravine. But if you look closely and included the thousands of stacked up rocks in between the the wooden plank and think how in the world did the Incans pulled the construction off, then it is a very nice piece of architecture.
Too bad though that you cannot cross the bridge; I'm guessing for both the bridge's and your personal safety.
inca bridge and me

16:15 - father, daughter and the path to llama
There were several others also looking at the Inca bridge, one was a father and daughter tandem. They were ahead of us on the way back to the Machu Pichu ruins, and on one point of the path they were waving to us saying something which we understood what it was about less than a minute after. :))
father, daughter and llama

The llama ignored us, so we did just the opposite by posing, taking a picture of it and the only thing missing is his/her autograph. ^__^
mushy and llamamush and pop

16:45 - Almost ready to go back
But first some more picture taking. \:D/
guard hutnina <3 topeng 0other angle of the guard house

19:00 - Pasalubong shopping
Aguas calientes has a big souvenirs market and allotted an hour to buy some..... souvenirs.. what else. :))  

20:00 - Happy Indian
We ate dinner at Indio Feliz, a resto in Aguas Calients that was recommended by our friends Con and Radda (one of our info sources for our Peruvian trip.)The place was pretty cozy and a good place to relax after a long walk on the mountain.
Everything was almost perfect except for the fact that the food then dessert then bill (all of them!) arrived very very late. :|
mermaidsindio felizindio feliz lemon piecandle lit chequeonion soup

22:30 - Lights out
for tomorrow we conquer the mountain. :D
IMG_0699
yes!!!!

4 comments:

  1. WOW! Majestic indeed! I love the first photo, the sun rays were absolute perfect! Best to be printed!!!

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  2. wow wala akong masabi sa super ganda ng mga Pics :) wunderschönes Foto :)

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  3. amazing pictures.. amazing story!

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