It is rare that one day earned it’s own post, imagine the time we would need to do that!, but looking at photos of our visit to this Incan site I found I wouldn’t be able to contain them to a paragraph.
To get there were arranged a transfer from Cusco to the hydroelectric station outside Santa Teresa, and then walked two hours along the train tracks to arrive at Aguas Calientes, or Machu Picchu pueblo as it is known. It’s not a great pace to spend your time. We had two nights there so we could do the whole trip in three days (journey there, whole day visit, journey back) and it was only bearable for the comfiest beds in Ecopackers hostel and a delicious meal at indio feliz. The prices are also crazy expensive (for Peru, not in general).
We didn’t bother to walk up from the town to the site in the end, because egg fell in a hole in the NGO taxi garden and hurt his ankle and you have to do a lot of walking just at the top. We also didn’t bother to get there when it opened at six in the morning as we realised we wouldn’t really see the sunrise and wanted to have energy to stay until closing time. Early and later are better time to visit as the day trippers arrive mid morning and leave mid afternoon; by four we felt like we had the place to ourselves and just chilled out with the llamas.
Options for visiting include climbing machu Picchu mountain or huayna Picchu mountain, or neither. Huayna Picchu sells out months in advance so with our last minute planning approach that was a no go, but for some reason very few people climb Machu Picchu so that was what we did.
If we had thought about it at all then we both thought it was a casual stroll. It was not. As we started on the trail I asked egg where we were heading and he looked up and guessed the only peak we could see. On reflection we both decided this was waaaay too high and our destination must be hidden. We were wrong. We were some of the first people to reach the top of the unrelenting stair climb and enjoyed pretty peacefully the amazing views from the peak before slugging back down.
The whole place felt really atmospheric. No where near as many tourists crawling all over it as I’d been led to believe, and pretty darn spectacular. We just sat and looked at it from different angles. All the way up in the mountains, why would you ever build up that high!