Blogs from Aguas Calientes, Cusco, Peru, South America

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South America » Peru » Cusco » Aguas Calientes June 10th 2014

Rolled out of bed at 4:30, had a quick breakfast, and walked through dark Aguas to the shuttle that takes you 30 minutes up a giant mountain to the actual entrance to Machu Picchu. Since it was still dark when I arrived, I actually hiked about an hour to the actual mountain pass that once protected the ancient city. The gate at this pass is called Inti Punko, or the Sun Gate, and is the technical end to the Inca Trail that runs throughout the Sacred Valley. It's a wonderful spot, and sitting there in the dark, perched on a rock, smelling the cool jungle air, and watching the clouds slowly break as the sun came up was definitely the most awe-inspiring way to see Machu Picchu for the first time. The sun broke through and ... read more
Waiting for the Sun
There It Is!
Better View

South America » Peru » Cusco » Aguas Calientes June 9th 2014

Up bright and early and opened my door to an incredibly clear and bright morning. It was beautiful - the mountains were glowing and it was a perfect 65 degrees or so. Everything just seemed to stand out in the sun. I started my day at the Ollantaytambo ruins just up the cobbled street (with a stream of mountain water running down the middle of it) near my hotel. This was the place the Inca made their great stand against the Spanish. They stood on the terraces and basically never gave the Spanish an inch. While this history is interesting, actually seeing and exploring the ruin requires basically walking right up the side of the mountain. You start at the bottom, climb past the terraces up over 200 stairs, until, at the very top, you have ... read more
A Nice Day
Mountain of the Moon
Climbing the Terraces

South America » Peru » Cusco » Aguas Calientes November 19th 2013

Spent two days in Ollantytambo, which is a beautiful Inca town in the sacred valley, at the foot of a fantastic Inca temple. They build all their stuff as high up the mountain as possible and the architecture and engineering is incredible. They were way ahead of Europeans in so many ways eg they had sussed that the world was round long before we did. Unfortunately they were a long way behind in military hardware so their stones and spears were no match for Spanish cannon! Or smallpox, also brought by the conquistadors. However their legacy has done wonders for Peruvian economy, not to mention t shirt and plastic condor sales! Ate my first guinea pig (Cuy) a couple of days ago and safe to say, it will be my last. It was orrible...... Crisp greasy ... read more
End of Inca Trail
More MP
Llament

South America » Peru » Cusco » Aguas Calientes October 25th 2013

Hierher muss man, wenn man zu Machu Picchu will. Cusco liegt 3600 m hoch, AC viel tiefer - tropischer Wald mit freilaufenden Orchideen, zu MP faehrt man dann mit dem Bus etwa 700 m hinauf, eine steile Serpentinenstrecke. Die Anreise ist nur mit dem Zug moeglich, weil das Tal des Urubamba so schmal ist, dass einfach keine Strasse mehr Platz hat. Abfahrt 8.25, Ankunft 12.00, gute 100 km, es handelt sich also eher um eine beschauliche Angelegenheit. Peru Rail hat wunderbare Touristenwaggons mit hohen Fenstern, Fenster sogar im Dach (wegen der hohen Berge), es gibt Snacks und man kann Andenken kaufen., In Aquas Calientes (das bedeutet eigentlich Heisswasser) wurde ich in ein Hotel gebracht, und dann regnete es erst einmal. Ich zog mich zum Skypen zurueck und wackelte nach Regenende ins MP Museum, 1/2 Std Fussmarsch ... read more

South America » Peru » Cusco » Aguas Calientes August 28th 2013

24 Aug Day 12: HuchuyQosqo, Taucca, Chincheros ,Ollanta and train to AguasCalientes, Machupicchu. I woke up. this morning to the sound of rain on the skylight. The first rain we've seen in almost two weeks in Peru and everyone is out on their Treks. Perhaps getting sick is a cloud with a silver lining. I got up had a nice shower, breakfast and generally a leisurely start to the day. Why you ask am I going into this level of detail? Well, it will become clear when you read what I should have been doing which was - "An early wake up at 6:00 am, after breakfast we leave our campsite at 07:00 am (1 hour to walk to HuchuyQosqo) a soft walk to end the valley and we walk through a narrow canyon to see ... read more
The puma stands strong
The mountain is having a wee
The town of Ollantaytambo

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South America » Peru » Cusco » Aguas Calientes July 28th 2013

Bin gerade in einem Internetcafe in Aguas Calientes (leider kein Skype!). Der Trek ist zu Ende. Es fehlt nur mehr die Rueckkehr nach Cusco mit dem Zug und dem Bus. Alles gut ueberstanden trotz Schnee und Regen. Landschaft (High Jungle), wenn sie zu sehen war, war herrlich. Heute Vormittag habe ich Machupicchu besichtigt. Schaut tatsaechlich aus wie aus dem Bilderbuch. :-) Melde mich. Meine Zeit ist gleich um. Ciao... read more

South America » Peru » Cusco » Aguas Calientes June 16th 2013

We were all a lil annoyed this am as we had been told we needed to be up at 6am even though we had an 'easy' day! But up we got and met each othe all down at the local restaurant we had dinner at, at 6.30am. Everyone was pretty tired and sore after yesterday's super long and strenuous day but also very excited/nervous for some, about ziplining this morning, We got given pancakes with chocolate sauce and a banana wrapped in it, with white rolls and juice for breakie. Average at best but could be worse. We stocked up on some snacks for the day and then all piled into the van and met our guide for ziplining. A few people in our group hadnt ziplined before so were pretty nervous but it was such ... read more
The main street of Santa Teresa
Our luxury accommodation!
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South America » Peru » Cusco » Aguas Calientes April 24th 2013

We over-nighted at Aguas Calientes which I understand to be Hot Water - a bit of a mis-nomer as this turned out to be in short supply at our lodging; definity not what I was looking forward to at the end of our trek - we slept very soundly non the less. Hard to believe no Hot Water with the amount of hydro electricity in the area. Interesting place with a train line and frequent service running right through the centre of the town. A fleet of buses seemingly run non stop ferrying passengers to and from Matchu Picchu over a narrow gravel switch-back track.... read more
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South America » Peru » Cusco » Aguas Calientes March 7th 2013

Yesterday was a day of travel. I met my tour organizer at 6:45 to head to the train station. Due to rains and landslides, the trains are unable to run for a good portion of the trip, so we were bussed over an hour to our train. Kind of makes me glad I didn't pop for the uber expensive Hiram Bingham train. Ok, so I am actually really glad I did not. On my tour yesterday someone who had just visited Machu Picchu told me that the best scenery was on the side of the train furthest from the station. Was my assigned seat there? As if! But, I was ready to sit and enjoy the ride when someone asked to switch to the same seat on the good side of the train. Why yes, I ... read more
PeruRail
Rushing Water
Horses Ready to Go

South America » Peru » Cusco » Aguas Calientes February 10th 2013

Well we finally made it into Cuzco. Our flight was at 5.20 am. But due to weather (low cloud) we couldnt land. But did have 3 attempts which was terrifying! Even Blair was afraid!!! So we returned back to Lima but had to wait on the Tarmac for 5 hours. Then at midday they combined our flight with another and set off again. Still a scarey flight. It was like being in a roller coaster flying around the hills of Cusco to set up for landing. Arrived bit missed our hotel transfer for the hotel as were supposed to land at 645. Sealed with a couple of taxi drivers and started our 1.5 hour drive to Ollyantamtambo. Amazing drive although altitude was just starting to get me. Either that or the lack of sleep. Peru is ... read more
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