November 14th, 2009 – by: seangee
Once we arrived at the top it was quite amazing. The road up was winding and dirt and might freak some people out. The scene at the top was well organized and resembled a national park entrance in the US. We met up with our guide who had the proper color flag we were supposed to be looking for and waited for the group to fill out. The tour began with a solid walk upwards where some people were struggling with catching there breath. At the end of that walk was the world famous "National Geographic" picture that everyone knows Machu Pichu for. The guide made sure everyone got their pics and would take them for you as well-real cool guy. The tour took us all over the site while receiving all the info from our guide. The tour took us up all the way to lunch and that was the end of that- so we hit up the extremely over priced snack bar at the entrance.
It had good food but the prices were expensive and I'd suggest bringing a lunch if you can. After lunch it was up to us to explore and do whatever we wanted- so we roamed and climbed all over. You can't climb or sit on just anything as their are guards all over who will blow the whistle at you- they will spot you from anywhere. So keep your ears open for whistles to know if your OK. We had received some advice- make sure you wear pants as the bugs are nasty at the top- I had some pants that I converted to shorts when it started heating up. Then I had bug bites all over my legs and put the pants back on, that advice was good. We cruised around for a couple hours then decided to head back to Aguas Calientes. You can catch a mini bus whenever at the entrance but we decided to walk down and see some stuff.
It was an alight idea as it started raining on the way down and made for a very humid scene. Ponchos are good and all but it seemed I was sweating so much under it that I was just as wet as I would have been from rain- whatever. We finally reached Aguas Calientes looking like some wet dogs and wanted to eat and dry off. We also thought we should go get our return tickets from the pizza guy- when we arrived at his place asking for our tickets, he played dumb like he didn't have the tickets. So we ordered some big beers and all of a sudden he remembered he did have our tickets. We got those and finished our brews and took off to find a more appealing restaurant. We found a place that was offering free pisco sours (just like everybody else) so we went in and took em up on their offer.
The place had a big wood fire oven that they cooked our pizzas in but that we also sat right next to- so we took the opportunity to dry off and hung our clothes up around it. We still had some time to kill before our train back so we bumped around the markets and did some haggling. When it came time to board the train BK and I were sitting together while Jeff and Erate were both sitting solo. BK and I were sitting across from some people that BK had sat by on the plane into Cusco
- that's odd. So we started talking and then drinking some beers and more beers. The train was good fun and we made plans to meet up when we got back to Cusco. There was some confusion once we got back to Ollyantambo as there were tons of mini buses picking everybody up, and all they had were signs with your names on them.
Our driver had a sign that had the names Brian(BK), Eric(Erate), Sean(me), and Michael(my middle name). So no Jeff- we told him to tell them his name was Michael and just get on- it worked because there was no I'd check. The ride back seemed long and I probably shouldn't have got so drunk. I felt the air becoming thinner and me feeling worse and worse. We missed our stop in Cusco and ended up being the last one on the mini bus, the driver then took us back to our place and we crashed out. That was a long day. Machu Pichu is a spectacular place and just a wonder to see. It would be awesome to do it right and travel in by the Inca Trail however we did not have the proper time so we had to do just one day.