Walking through time
Machu Picchu Travel Blog› entry 4 of 9 › view all entries
After a short walk to the bus station, we embarked the local bus to take us to Machu Picchu site. It's a half-an-hour -drive on a serpentine dirt road up the mountain. Machu Picchu lies at 2430 m/asl and this drop made me feel much much better. Not so our guide, who had severe problems suffering from nausea and diarrhea. So we left him at the Sanctuary Lodge, a hotel located right at the entrance of Machu Picchu, and went on tour with our local guide. For more than an hour he showed us around, telling us about the history of this place. After that we had two hours on our own, and went exploring ourselves. We had perfect weather, it was cloudy and dry. This is supposed to be uncommon, Machu Picchu is most of the time covered in mist or it's raining.
Machu Picchu is absolutely worth the visit! It's astonishing and magical. The view on the mountains surrounding it is amazing. I'd certainly take an experienced guide along, since there are many historic and interesting facts to learn about. There's no need for mountain gear, one can perfectly walk around in sneakers. Sunscreen is necessary and a raincape/umbrella.
As we were climbing back down, the rain started to drizzle. By the time we reached the gate, it was pouring. We rushed to the Sanctuary Lodge restaurant where lunch was organized for us. Buffet-style and plentiful and yummy. Here I tried barley juice, which was surprisingly refreshing, loved it! We had finished lunch, but the rain was still pouring.
After returning to Aguas Calientes we had enough time to stroll through the town, have a coffee or go shopping. I wouldn't recommend shopping at the market though, since the prices are sky high compared to other places. I went to a restaurant to have some tea and just enjoy the view.
In the train we were treated with a fashion show! Imagine that! The steward and stewardess turned the gangway into a catwalk showing off clothes made of alpaca. Meanwhile another steward dressed up in a fokloristic costume representing a mythological creature, and jumped up and down the train teasing the passengers. It produced a lot of laughter and everybody had great fun.
By now I was sure I liked the Peruvian people. They are very hospitable and friendly. Be it fake to profit from the rich western tourist or not, fact is my encounters with them were nothing but positive. And I don't believe it was fake.
We arrived in Cusco late, and fell tired into bed.