Machu Picchu – Finally. Day 4.

How do I describe the start of this day? Well, for starters last night, my room mate Salman woke up pretty much every hour to first throw up and then sounded like significant diarrhea. I tried to sleep through it, but when I woke up Salman says he’s NOT going and he’s going to stay in Ollantaytambo! I was quite confused. He basically said his diarrhea was so bad he can’t take the train. I couldn’t convince him otherwise. I got ready and called Boris, our tour guide. Boris came and told him that there would be bathrooms at the train station and the train. Besides this was Machu Picchu. He came so far for this! Boris told him he would get antibiotics and he should be fine. It was speculated that it might have been the *chicha* – an alcoholic drink made from corn. Anyway, that was speculated cause I didn’t have any.

Finally we made out way to the train station after breakfast. Salman didn’t have any breakfast other than black tea. I finished ALL the prickly pears and most of the mangoes. I think I’ve been eating really well on this trip and enjoying the new tastes.
Anyway, Boris let me take his seat as he had seats by the window on the left – the best way to go.

Great views of the Urubamba river and of course the mountains.

It’s always interesting when one blogs about a trip they took several years ago.  As I’m trying to add pictures and all, there’s a picture of breakfast on the train.  I guess, we got a little snack on our way there.  I have no recollection of what kind of sandwich it was.  I’m guessing there was a drink, because there looks like there is a cup holder in our little breakfast kit.  Just a note.  I think the basket that the little snack came in is just darling!  After years of travel and being presented with plastic trays, I think the basket is a nice touch.  I think I should add a few more pictures of the train journey before I go into pictures at Agua Calientes, the city where Machu Picchu is.  Also, for those of you planning a trip to Machu Picchu, there are a couple of ways you can get there.  You can register for the 5 day hike up the mountains and you get to Machu Picchu to watch the sunrise there on the 5th day, or you could do the easy way and take the train like I did.  I must admit that I’m told that I’m quite adventurous.  Well, I guess I may be because I wanted to do the hike, but in retrospect, I’m really glad we did the train and the traditional way to see Machu Pichu.  Why  not?  After all, if I had done the hike, I’m sure the views would have been great and it would have been an adventure burned into my mind, but I would not have seen all the other places that I got to see in this trip.  Anyways, here are more pictures of the train journey, the Urubamba river and the surrounding mountains.

And then we got to the train station at Agua Calientes and went to our hotel El Mapi. Best hotel so far, but poor ventilation in the bath room! 🙁 I don’t have a picture of the hotel room, but here are views of the hotel from the lobby and outside the lobby on the streets.

You have to admit that there is something eclectic and wholesome about this place.  It’s a perfect place for friends getting together and having coffee!  Forget Starbucks.  Who needs Starbucks when you’ve got Agua Calientes!

https://www.blogger.com/video.g?token=AD6v5dyLJa1Kl6xVj9kEhkGAiIpjexr-f-VKAdzLkg87agtPD_oRsArN0JjIAjZdn61GmlX9KkOzU_OFStTY7TF_kNYaWnd8iiZgigrjK7JfueAAW4YIC5_7WgguFd6NxaLfs7DWs-KzSo, as I’m taking pictures, I here sounds of music coming from the street.  I guess they were having some religious festival that day.  So, here’s a video of one of the groups that walked by the hotel.  There’s another video, but blogger limits me.  Let me try to upload on YouTube and see if I can upload that video at some point.  But for now, this video will have to do.  This is my first video upload on Blogger, so please forgive me if it’s a mess!

Anyways, since we got to the hotel by 10am, our room was not ready. We left our luggage (overnight pack) at the hotel and off we went to a bus. This was it.  This was our moment.  This bus was going to Machu Picchu!
The bus winded up the mountain on a very narrow lane on the ledge. I must say it is scary just ONE way, it is a lot scarier when a bus comes the other way and they manage to pass each other. The views of the mountain reminded me of Avatar – Pandora! Mountains converged with green and just plain beautiful in its grandeur. Tried to get pictures, but not clear from a window. Tried to take it all in.

Then we went to Machu Picchu and there we were, looking out at the same mountains and the stream that ran below it. And of course, there was Machu Picchu. Set between these mountains. It was just beautiful. Like PARADISE. Can’t describe it really.

 As we were going through Machu Picchu Salman had to go back for the rest room again! So, it was just me and Boris continuing on the tour. Later on we were able to find Salman and finished the rest of the tour.

 After the tour, we had options of going back to Machu Picchu and hanging out or climbing to the Sun gate. So, to the dismay of Boris, I wanted to climb the Sun Gate path. Boris joined me. Salman stayed back. 

The climb was an hour and tiring as it was fully uphill. Walk was easy but going up hill in the heat was difficult. But the views were great. Here’s a picture with me and a Llama.  Well, they are all over the place.  I do have pictures of them roaming freely around Machu Picchu but this guy was on the trail on our way down from the Sun Gate.  I must say that by the time you get to the Sun Gate, you can barely see Machu Picchu.  It’s so far away but you are way up a mountain at that point.  Machu Picchu looked small from way up there, but the views were great. I was glad to know that Huayna Picchu mountain hike was still not higher than where I went so I’m glad. No desire to climb Huayna Picchu. Would be too scary for me and being so steep I’m sure I’ll have a rough time up the mountain. In case you are wondering what Huayna Picchu is, well, it’s one of the mountains surrounding Machu Picchu and I’m told the hike is strenuous.  After reading Trip Advisor reviews, I so badly wanted to do that hike and I had mentioned it to Boris.  He told me to tell him if I still wanted to do the hike after I had hiked up Pisac mountain and I’ll have to re-read my blog on Pisac but that was a tough hike.  I lost my desire for hiking up Huayna Picchu after Pisac.  I knew the views would be brilliant but I wasn’t willing to risk it.  I think there had been 7 deaths so far on the hike to Huayna Picchu and Boris talked about the day he was there and saw someone just fall off that mountain.  He said, they had ropes now to hold onto as one climbed.  No thank you!  Anyway, Machu Picchu is called the City in the clouds because the mountains rise into the clouds and you see the tip of the mountain based on whether there’s a cloud or not.  I am posting another picture of Machu Picchu with the low hanging clouds so you get an idea.


 So tomorrow we go see a waterfall after an hour hike. I’m looking forward to it too, but I feel the highlight of my trip was today. Tomorrow we should be back in Cusco in the evening. Oh and the iced tea at the reception area in our hotel was great. But I can’t drink much because I’m peeing like crazy due to hypoxia! But I’m doing well… 🙂

For those of you who are new to my blog or at least to this series on my travel to Machu Picchu, well, this is a several part blog journalling my travels to Peru.  I kept a little journal while I traveled and wrote as much as I could every night, but the blue color is what I’m adding now, several years later, from memory. Hoping it all flows.

Here’s wishing you all happy travels and best wishes.
TTR

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About Me

It’s hard to introduce oneself. What do I say? I come from a varied background. Born in India, spent part of my childhood in Dubai and have been in the USA since I was 16. I consider myself a citizen of the world. And I’m more of a kumbaya type of person. Why can’t we all get along?

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