On February 3 we got up, downed coca/ muna tea with stale bread and headed out of the Ecolodge. We decided to take what Lyle describes as the most expensive bus ride in Peru (US$21) from Aguas Calientes to the site. The bus crossed the river and climbed the 1000 meter switchbacked road overlooking misted mountains. It was rainy but we had our “ponchos” (plastic bags with hoods) and our spirits were up.
We arrived on site at 9.40 am, Eliot, David and I headed to the trailhead for Machu Picchu mountain while Tilo went to find isolated spots to take photos. The climb was hard, almost grouse grind like but the rain stopped and we got peak a boo views of the site as the clouds drifted over it. The trail was well maintained and patrolled by Peruvian officials who were too busy chatting on their cell phones with their mothers to provide directions. At the top, there were a bunch of sweaty mosquito bitten young tourists speaking a babel of languages. I realized that Scandinavians can be as trashy as some Canadians.
There were all kinds of weird plants including some wild orchids. On the way down we got under the clouds and were able to see the entire site which looks like it does in the pictures.
We spent the rest of the day wandering through the Inca houses and temples on the site. Here is a short video. There were alpaca running through the area (grass control). The tourists came in waves but it was never really too crowded. Everyone we met seemed to be in a dreamy happy mood as they wandered through the site.
We met up with Tilo and took the bus down with the other happy tourists. In town we looked for a restaurant. People always think Eliot is a gringo until he opens his mouth. He asked one of the restaurant touts waiving a menu if they have bbq chicken- “si” she said come in- Eliot asked her to show us the chicken on the menu first, caught in a lie, she shrugged as if to say.. so what. She soon found out so what as Eliot told her off in Spanish. I suspect she will think twice before starting with a red head. Energized by that encounter Eliot went to the place that charged us 20% and told them off and threatened a bad review on our blog to no effect as they told him “we do not care”.
We found a place called Boulangerie de Paris which made up for the scammers. Good food, friendly mellow atmosphere and to top it off a bathroom with a seat and toilet paper.
On the train ride home, David taught us to play Juker. It was a great ending to a great post . We were happy and tired from a wonderful day. David got his hike and was able to see Machu Picchu, Tilo got his tilo time and his photos. When we got to San Blas Square in Cusco to the fiesta that was in full force in the square. I danced a bit in the square and then we returned to the apartment exhausted.