Getting There - Aneel's Travelogue

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Machu Picchu Machu Picchu, Cuzco, Peru, Wednesday, 23 March 2005 11:55pm

We made it to Machu Picchu!

Somehow we managed to get out the hostel door in time to catch a 6am train, which passed through some amazing scenery on the way to Machu Picchu. We dropped off our bags at Gringo Bill's. The disparaging comments in the guidebook about the new-agey murals turned out to be overblown. I actually like the Magritte-meets-Boris Vallejo one on our wall. Sorta. After a bit of confusion about the minibus tickets (why are they priced in US$ instead of Peruvian Soles?), we were on our way to the park proper.

We decided to start with the remote parts of the site, so we hiked up to Huayna Picchu, which overlooks the main group of buildings. It was a solid hour of hiking, almost all uphill, to a beautiful vista. We had lunch near the top (the top itself was infested with biting flying ants or something) and then decided to hike down towards the Temple of the Moon.

It was raining by the time we made it to the turnoff, so Dave decided to head back to the gate while Yuri and I pressed on. It was another 45min of hiking downwards to get to the ruins of the temple.

That hike was the highlight of the day. Unlike the exposed path up to Huayna Picchu, the path to the temple was through jungle. We didn't realize it had stopped raining until we got to the temple clearing because the canopy leaves had been catching and releasing the rainwater.