Blogs from Machu Picchu, Cusco, Peru, South America - page 12


South America » Peru » Cusco » Machu Picchu February 5th 2013

Having fortunately escaped Ecuador in one piece, we had a beautiful flight over the Andes into Cuzco, Peru. Cuzco After basically spending six months at sea level the altitude and temperature of Cuzco was a bit of a shock, but also a pleasant change. The city is packed nicely into a beautiful valley at 11,200 ft. The little hostel we found was just outside the city center and up about 100 steps, which kicked our asses and left us breathless during our first few ascents. There is a tremendous number of amazing Inca historical sites to see in the city itself and the nearby Sacred Valley and we hit just about everything prior to embarking on our Inca Trail hike. I read a great book titled, "The Last Days of the Incas" over the previous few ... read more
Jumbo Andean Flute Player
12-sided stone
1st Cross in S. America

South America » Peru » Cusco » Machu Picchu February 5th 2013

We were up and out of the hotel at 0530 after a great breakfast prepared by the daughter of Sara. We hopped on one of the first buses to drive us up the 8km switchbacked dirt road to Machu Picchu. The weather was thick fog and a light mist that we hoped would burn off later in the day. Machu Picchu is one of the only intact Incan ruins that did not suffer any destruction by the Spanish conquistadors simply because they did not know it existed. It was virtually forgotten about and left to the jungle until it was stumbled upon and “rediscovered” by Hiram Bingham in 1911. Bingham was searching for another lost city that was the last stronghold of the Incas when he was told by a local about Machu Picchu, deep in ... read more

South America » Peru » Cusco » Machu Picchu February 1st 2013

Day 3 of Team Norway's Machu Picchu trek dawned with a cloudless sky and glorious sunshine leading to an earlier than normal thermal breeze gusting through the Rio Urubamba valley. Normally this would not have been a problem but today was different, today was zip lining day. When the Norwegians asked me if I was interested in zip lining on the Inca Jungle trek “sure” I replied, “I do it all the time in London”. To be honest I had in mind a long, leisurely, controlled descent over jungle trees and vegetation perhaps 30 meters above the ground. I was wrong, as this was set to be a truly terrifying experience. After putting on our harnesses and getting a bus to the top of the mountain it suddenly dawned that whilst trees were involved they were ... read more
Powerful waters at the Pueblo
Team MP

South America » Peru » Cusco » Machu Picchu January 29th 2013

Despite protestations to various parties involved in the organisation of the trek to Machu Picchu it was deemed by the Peruvians easier to label all of us doing the trek from the Spanish school Norwegian. Thus the first day of team Norway's 4 day Inca Jungle trek to Machu Picchu began above the cloud base in the mountains above Santa Maria. Little did we know that below us awaited a cold and perilous descent with hail, rain, irrate llamas, water hazards and sheer drops. To make it even more 'exciting' the bikes were also somewhat in need of TLC, the brakes on my bike barely worked at 4350m let alone after navigating numerous descents and hairpins en route to our finish for the day at 1250m. Tonje's tyre had a 3 inch hole in the side ... read more
'Am I too heavy for the cart' wonders Lisa
Me and Parrot
Silo - everyones favourite Weasel

South America » Peru » Cusco » Machu Picchu January 16th 2013

Cusco Cusco is 3500 metres above sea level and situated in the southern Peru boarding the valley of Urubamba in the Andes mountains. Cusco was the historic centre of the Inca empire in the 13 th century 1532. According to legend the city was built by Sapa Inca Pachacuti, he was the man who transformed the quiet city of Cusco into the vast empire of Tahuantinsuya. The first Spanish to arrive in Cusco was in 1533, they soon pulled down most buildings and then built on top of the Inca Foundations. The Spanish built many churches in order to convert the Inca's to follow their faith, they also built the cathedral, convents and a university. There was a major earthquake in May 1550 this caused localised damaged in Cusco. However the Inca buildings and foundations were ... read more
The Cathedral
Plaza Armas
The famous 12 cornered block

South America » Peru » Cusco » Machu Picchu January 10th 2013

Spoke with the hotel staff last night and got the drill on the weather here. During the rainy season it is clear and blue in the mornings, with the rain beginning about 1300 – 1400, getting heavier and lasting for the remainder of the day. So we got to the ruins site early and were able to take a leisurely hike of the ruins, taking a million photos, exploring the various areas and with only about 15% of the touristas that were present yesterday. The only place we were not able to get to was the very top of Wayna Picchu (the tall, pointed peak you see in all of the photos), because it takes forever to get through the line for a pass and actually climb the peak (very limited access), we had a train ... read more
A Money Shot
Actual time is 1130 --Look at the Sun image
All aboard!

South America » Peru » Cusco » Machu Picchu December 23rd 2012

Ons is 4:30 alreeds uit die vere om reg te maak vir Machu Picchu. Ons vang toe die bus 5:30, en verbasend was daar alreeds 5 busse voor ons gewees! Mens het die opsie om op te loop van Aguascallientes wat omtrent 'n uur en 'n half sal vat, of 'n peperduur busrit, wat net 'n halfuur vat vir flippen 19$! 6 Uur klok ons by Machu Picchu in, kan amper nie glo ons is regtig daar nie! Dit is ongelooflik mooi! Ons het rustig deur die ruins gestap tot by Huayna Picchu, dis nou die hobbel berg wat mens in al die bekende fotos van Machu Picchu in die agtergrond sien. Ons het ekstra ingang kaartjies gekoop om daai bergie uit te klim, om 'n mooi view van Macha Picchu te kry. Hulle laat net ... read more

South America » Peru » Cusco » Machu Picchu December 12th 2012

The bus to Cuzco was no big drama. We had the comfy seats downstairs, (For a whopping £1 each more!) with only 2 French people with us on that floor. The only problem was that yet again there was a Spanish dubbed film playing really loud to when nobody could speak spanish. (Even without knowing what they were saying we are pretty sure Transporter is a terrible film!) On arriving in Cuzco we checked into our hotel for the first night. We are meeting up with our group for the inca trail tour tomorrow, so have to move hotels in the morning. They advise arriving a few days early in Cuzco to acclimatise, but as we have already been at higher altitude than Cuzco for 10 days, we just went for the day before. After checking ... read more
Feeding the Llamas
Watching the ladies work
view over the sacred valley

South America » Peru » Cusco » Machu Picchu December 8th 2012

Machu Picchu is set in absolutely spectacular mountain scenery (see photo 1). When you go to Machu Picchu you can either have rainy weather or mosquitos. Unfortunately our group chose rainy and cloudy so the pictures were not the clear photos beloved of holiday brochures (see photo 2), but at least I didn't get malaria! The photo I have chosen was one of the rarer ones not partly obscured by cloud. The area gets severe earthquakes about every three hundred years - I had the foresight to stay in Britain until I was five years old to avoid the last one. Inca constructions are moderately resistant to earthquakes but damage to one wall from the 1950 one is still visible (see photo 3). In nearby Aguas Calientes, having run out of excuses I finally succumbed to ... read more
Machu Picchu
Earthquake damage
Guinea pig dinner

South America » Peru » Cusco » Machu Picchu November 21st 2012

Day 3 – 21.11.12 – Quishuarani to Lares Hot Springs Once again the day started at 5.30am with a knock on the tent and a hot cup of coca tea thrust through the tent door. On exiting the tent I glanced behind me at the mountain we trekked up and over yesterday, it was covered in snow. Whilst we’d had some snow on the summit it wasn’t settling, from the looks of it over night the snow had come down quite hard – we found out later that day that a different trekking company had tried to hike the same summit and had been snowed off so were very lucky! Today was a totally different trek to yesterdays, still a sharp climb, over 600meters in 2 hours, but the weather was fantastic, the sky was clear ... read more
Day 3 - Ready to go
Day 3 - With the Guide
Day 3 - Beautiful views

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