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Published: June 21st 2017
Geo: -13.52, -71.99
We arrived inCusco,the grand capìtal of the Inca Empire, by a 10 hour coach ridefromPuno. It was an interesting day,in a luxury coach with other tourists from all over,including an American couple from Colarado we talked to, stopping at 5 different places en route, including an archeological museum of pre- Inca/Columbian remains, an Inca settlement, a Spanish church with great frescoes,under renovation, and a lunch stop by a waterfall -the beginning of the river Urabamba, leading down to Cusco. The guide was very enthusiastic, full of her spiritual Mama Pacha beliefs, held by the Andean people before they were converted by the Spaniards to catholicism,which sounded less and less rational as the day progressed.
Weleft mostof our luggage at our friendly hotel in Cusco the next morning and set off very early again with a small bag to reach Macchu Pichu. Much of the fun is in the getting there. Its is a very inaccessible ruin of an Inca city in the heart of the Andean mountains, probably built by the same Inca King who laid out the straight streets of Cusco,as a 'retreat', but much of the history is guess work, mainly by Hiram Bingham who 'discovered' the ruin
in 1911 and tried to set it in the context of other Inca discoveries. Webegan the journey on a cold, rainy morning as it got light, in a mini bus, then transfered to a Peru Rail coach with lots of other passengers for the part of the journey where the rail track has been washed away, then finally transfered onto a comfortable train, where we were given a snack. The train descended slowly along the banksof the Urabamba River, winding through the green fields, terraces and tall mountains jutting up above us, deep into the valley,inaccessible by any other route,other than the paved Inca Trail, built 500yrs agoto move armies and now used as a walking trail by the energetic. We arrived at the small town of Ageous Calientes ( Hot Springs) in the late morning,handed our bags over to the hotel staff at the station, and queued for a bus to climb the zig-zag road upto Macchu Pichu. It was difficult to get agoof view from the bus of the site as weapproached it, but when we walked from the entrance it did indeedtake your breath away - so remote, so green, extensive ruinssurrounded by majestic forested hills.
who had met usoff the train (Gilbert) was just telling us howlucky we were that it wasn´t raining, when the heavens opened. Sadly it rained for the next 3 hours ofour guided tour and we got a bit demoralised paddling around,with loads ofother tourists getting into pictures withflourescent pink capes on, but fortunately we were staying in a wonderful hotel overnight,wich livened our spirits and the next day, although we failed to makeanearlystart becauseit wasouring until 9.00am,we were finally rewarded with a couple of hoursof sunshine. It was a great visit.
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