Blogs from Aguas Calientes, Cusco, Peru, South America

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South America » Peru » Cusco » Aguas Calientes September 20th 2014

Kelly and I were really hoping to sleep in today and then lay in bed for a few hours watching TV, but unfortunately our hotel had a 10am check out so our dreams were dashed. Instead we slept until 9am, quickly ate the continental breakfast and then stored our bags at reception so we could explore Aguas Calientes. Aguas Calientes lies in a deep gorge below Machu Picchu. A virtual island, it’s cut off from all roads and enclosed by stone cliffs, towering cloud forest, and two rushing rivers. Despite its gorgeous location, Aguas Calientes has always been a bit of a no-man’s land, with a large itinerant population, slack services that count on one-time customers and an architectural tradition of rebar and unfinished cement. Despite that however the city reminded me of a quaint Swiss ... read more
messing around
Snow capped mountain from the train
Peru Rail

South America » Peru » Cusco » Aguas Calientes September 18th 2014

Well the rain continued through the night so needless to say everything I own is wet. Today is the last day our chef is cooking for us so to celebrate that he baked us a cake for breakfast. It was a delicious white lemony cake with pink frosting. After the cake was served we were waiting for some actual breakfast food (aka eggs, toast, something) but apparently the cake was it! Nevertheless it was a great start to the day. After breakfast our group separated, two Germans did the hike and the rest of us went zip lining. Well I went with the zip lining group but I did not zip line. I woke up with my left knee still very swollen so I knew I would not be able to do the 3 hour hike, ... read more
Mountain Machu Picchu sits on
Old bridge
Looking good

South America » Peru » Cusco » Aguas Calientes September 6th 2014

Jeudi soir, j’ai passé ma première soirée à Cusco, chez Carlos, qui m’accueille sur place. Petite soirée tranquille à discuter, manger, et boire (devinez quoi !). Le lendemain, il m’a accompagné sur les hauteurs de Cusco et m’a aidé à organiser mon expédition au Machu Picchu. Finalement, comme je veux aussi monter sur Wayhna Picchu, la montagne qui domine le site, je pars le soir même pour Aguas Caliente, le point de départ de l’ascension du Machu Picchu. J’arrive assez tard, et je dors dans une auberge de jeunesse avec d’autres voyageurs couche-tard, pas très discrets. Mon réveil me venge à 4h15, et je pars à pied le plus tôt possible pour éviter l’afflux de touristes. C’est loupé, quand j’arrive, il y a déjà plus d’une centaine de personnes qui ont pris le bus pour monter. ... read more
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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

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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