A South American Escape Part 7 – Machu Picchu

This past Spring, Joline and I embarked on what we considered a trip of a lifetime. Our jaunt took us from the Beaches of Rio, through the Jungles of Iguassu Falls, to the “Paris of South America (Buenos Aires), all the way over to Peru and the Land of the Incas. Below are some of the highlights in photos. Enjoy!

Missed a previous post?

A South American Escape Part 1 – Miami
A South American Escape Part 2 – Rio de Janeiro
A South American Escape Part 3 – Iguassu Falls/Foz Do Iguacu
A South American Escape Part 4 – Buenos Aires
A South American Escape Part 5 – Lima
A South American Escape Part 6 – Sacred Valley of the Incas
A South American Escape Part 7 – Machu Picchu
A South American Escape Part 8 – Cusco
A South American Escape Part 9 – Lima Redux…and home.

———————————————————————————————–

On a bright crisp morning, it was time for the coup de gras…Machu Picchu.

 

There she is.

 

Because of the flooding in the area, we could not take the train the entire way to Agua Calientes, the Machu Picchu base camp.

We took individual buses from the Ollantaytambo Station to Piscacuchi where we boarded the train.

A trip to Machu Picchu, the stone-stacked “Lost City of the Incas” that towers 8,000 feet above sea level in Peru, is a once-in-a-lifetime experience within itself.

Aguas Calientes is the colloquial name for Machupicchu Pueblo, a town in Peru on the Urumbamba. It is best known as the closest access point to Machu Picchu.

 

Agua Caliente

 

The trains were actually surprisingly luxurious.

 

Our ride.

 

 

Raging Water with Incan bridge crossing.

 

These floods in January 2010 cut access to Machu Picchu thus strangling the area’s economy.  The route took months to restore and we were among the first groups there.

 

Flood Damages Tracks.

 

 

Floods!

 

Puppy taking nap at the train station.  It was so busy around it and it did not seem to mind. 🙂

 

Nap.

 

After the switchback ascent, we caught our first glimpse.  Wow.  But the fog. @!#$!@$

 

Shroud.

 

A passerby told us, “…if you don’t like the weather, wait 5 minutes…”.  She was right.

 

Majesty

 

 

Tight Corners.

 

 

Bedroom.

 

 

Ruins.

 

 

Fog.

 

There were hikers all over…weary and exhausted.

 

Rest.

 

 

See how the Incas carved the rock to look like the adjoining mountains?

 

 

Grazing.

 

Alpaca were all over.

 

Resident.

 

 

Doorway.

 

 

Vintage.

 

 

Another view.

 

 

There she is.

 

 

Another hiker.

 

 

Summit.

 

 

 

Headed back down...watch out for the uneven steps...Machu Picchu

 

Agua Caliente turned into a party town with hikers/tourists/guides from all over the world discussing their exploits, and their view of this wonder of the world.  Over several beers of course.

 

Agua Calientes - This place turned into a 'frontier town' at night. Fun!

 

Next, Cusco on a Machu Picchu high…sigh…and time for home.

(A South American Escape Part 8 – Cusco)