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Published: July 15th 2007
I met a guy on the bus to Cuzco from Copacabana who was also headed to Machu Picchu, and we undertook the long journey to Machu Picchu. The journey isnÂ´t actually long, but seeing as how my friend was short on cash we decided to take the cheap route.
I do not reccommend the cheap route. 13 hours on a bus to some town in the jungle where we then took the most jam packed micro I have ever taken for more than 2 hours (I ended up crying during this journey, we were packed in like animals, 23 people in a van), then 3 hours of walking to Aguas Calientes, which is the town at the base of Machu Picchu. We arrived in the city at 6pm, 22 hours after we had left Cuzco. We dumped our bags in a cheap hotel, ate in the market, and crashed out intending to get up at 5am to see the sun rise at the ruins.
Things never really go to plan here in South America. The food I ate in the market gave me a pretty wicked case of food poisioning, and I woke up feeling
disgusting. It took me a few hours to rouse myself and decide that I still wanted to go up that day. Then the fiasco with the fact that EVERYONE said that they charge in dollars to go, when in fact they charge in soles for the ticket, and dollars for the bus ticket. So we changed all my dollars to soles, but then had no dollars for the bus. Blah blah blah. I ended up by the end of all this, sick and miserable, whining about how horrible and expensive and touristy and stupid Peru is, arriving to one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. Even crowded with tourists, is is a jaw dropping inspiring sight. We spent about 6 hours just wanderig around, me resting often, talking to people, asking questions of other peopleÂ´s guides, and trying to imagine how the city would have looked before it was abandonded, full of shrines, houses, farms, animals, and of course Incas.
I wish I could write more about the city, but I think the pictures tell most of the story. Needless to say I found myself wanting to know more about the city and the society that
built it. It is definitely a fascinating place, and the day after I was there it was elected at the 4th of the New 7 Wonders of the World.
But needless to say, I shelled out the cash for the 3 hour train ride back to Cuzco. Much more enjoyable than the 22 hour option.
Thanks Granny and PaBob for making it possible!
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