The visit to Machu Picchu

Date: 08/03
City: Aguas Calientes , Peru
Kilometres ridden: 0
Cumulative kilometre: 36085
Street: –
Weather: sunny/cloudy/rainy

We drove up to Machu Picchu with an early bus which only took twenty minutes. And here we are, the first view of Machu Picchu.

Our guide suggested walking to the Sun Gate and back before we meet him with the rest of the group and that’s what we did. On the way we got a good view of the bus road from Aquas Calientes to Machu Picchu and a different view of Machu Picchu itself.

The right picture shows the view from the Sun Gate. As you can see we had to climb quite a bit to get there.


We were puffed when we finally arrived at the Sun Gate.

After a short break and a second breakfast we turned around and went back to the gate to meet our tour guide at 11 AM. This time we paid more attention to our surroundings and found quite amazing orchids and butterflies.

The butterflies changed the colour of their wings depending on the angle of the sun, but they were too fast to be captured on the camera. When we arrived at the gate we met Will again – Will and Nuria were with us on the same boat in Galapagos – he just finished four days of trekking and was waiting for Nuria to arrive by bus. When our tour guide arrived, we quickly made an appointment with Will for dinner tonight to get some stories about his hiking trip. We met the rest of the group and started our guided tour. The guide was enthusiastic and knowledgeable and it was fun to listen to his explanations. He showed us the aqueducts and the storm water system in the town which we would have overlooked otherwise. Before the first house was build, the Incas finished the Aqueducts so that they would have a steady supply of water. On the right hand side you can see how the water was cascading down through different basins.

The terraces were the argicultur area, the topsoil in these teraces was apparently brought up from the river since this was more fertile than the mountains soil.

The guide also showed us the Temple of the Condor. To be honest, if the guide hadn’t explained it, we wouldn’t have made the connection. The wings, in particular, we would have misses. Sigrid tries to show how it was meant to look – Sigird is on the right in the red T shirt J

We found beautiful stone masenarie which intergrated the natural rocks into the building.

With all the maisonary on show, I had to be reminded that the Inkas didn’d use iron or steel. To get this done they were apparently using rocks and copper – and the latter was only used for some intricate carvings. Looking at the picture on the right above at the round wall, the stones of the temple of the sun are just stacked on top of each other and they fit perfectly, even 500 years later, beeing exposed to the weather… isn’t that amazing? The area with the temples had a gate which was locked, so only special people could enter this area.

At the top there is the hinch for the door and left and right are openings for ropes to keep the door closed. Here again, the stones have no mortar between them, they are just held up by their own weight. Outside of the gate we could see the different classes of stones, in the front the smooth finish, used for temples, then the bit rougher finish up to the gate, and the much rougher finish as part of a common housing at the end.

On the left hand side in picture below you can see the highest point of the city with a platform on top of which is the Intihuatana. This is a huge carved rock that is believed to be a place of astronomic observations and various religious rituals (on the right).


A look down from the platform shows the height of the city, at the bottom there is a train- doesn’t it look like a toy train?

This was the point were our tour ended and we dicided to have a look at the trunk bridge. First we had to get up to the guard tower which involved climbing stairs again. Again, each of these stairs had to be carved by hand without any metal and then transported and fixed to the right place, amazing!

On our way up we meet Will and Nuria again, so they took some pictures of the two of us and visa versa.

We continued our walk to the bridge, we were again impressed how the Incas managed to build a path like this on a cliff face.

Removing the wooden planks would make passing the gap impossible. It is really hard to get a real picture but the drop from the brigde must be around 500m. From the side there was a rock that could be used to defend this gap, so there would be no way that anybody could cross it.

I felt safe standing on the rock until Sigrid told me that it was hanging over the edge for quite a bit, she shouldn’t have told me that  🙂

From the bridge we walked back to Machu Piccho and when we arrived it started to rain, so we hopped on the bus and returned to Aguas Calientes. When we arrived it was still raining, so we decided to get our bathers and go to the hot springs at the end of the town. I assumed we would be the only ones crazy enough to go swimming when it rained heavily. Wrong!! The hottest pool was croweded, I guess people went in before it rained and were scared to leave now. The bar service at the pool made these decission even easier I guess. And there were the hot foutains, which were the best in my opinion. It was just hot water coming out of the wall, it felt like getting a massage.

And when it got too warm, we could cool down in the freezing fountains, which were easy to find since they were the only empty places in the whole setup.

We tried it and did know why it was empty -hard attack material! Anyway after two hours we got dressed and met with Will and Nuria for dinner. We got some wood oven baked pizza which tasted realy nice. Will was starving after his four days trekking.

We talked about Will’s trek adventure and what the plans were after this journey. Both lived in Australia and at the end of the journey will be moving to Nuria’s birth place, Switzerland. They have an exciting time in front of them! After tea we departed and wished them good luck in Switzerland.

Date: 09/03
City: Cusco , Peru
Kilometres ridden: 0
Cumulative kilometre: 36085
Street: –
Weather: rainy/cloudy/fresh

In the morning I took a picture out of our room, the view was just great.

After breakfast we went to the train station and hopped on the train not long after. It was not raining today, which made the train ride even more enjoyable.

An hour and a half later we arrived in Ollantaytambo where a community bus was waiting for us and we arrived in Cusco at our accommodation two hours later. Sigrid had another look through all the bags, it looks like her mobile is lost :/

Date: 10/03 -11/03
City: Cusco , Peru
Kilometres ridden: 0
Cumulative kilometre: 36085
Street: –
Weather: rainy/cloudy/fresh

We were mostly planning our next steps up to Santiago and tried to find Sigrid’s phone. Sigrid was able to load a software called Plan B onto it and finally got a GPS location back around 10 PM at night. It turned out that the location was in a 200m radius of our hostel, but that was the last time that we received an update. Now it was either switched off, the battery was empty or it moved outside of the internet range. Anyway, we thought we stay a day longer to see if we can locate it in the morning.

The next day we looked for Sigrid’s phone but couldn’t locate it. In the afternoon we gave up and decided to have a look at the South American Explorer club house – to get some road info and to see what we can do about the lost phone – and to eat coy (guineapig).

We got some info about the road from Puno to the border and on how to get the mobile phone back. The best chance would be to go to a particular place on Saturday, there would be a very high possibility that we would find the phone and could buy it back :/ 
We gave that a miss since today was Monday. So the next step would be eating coy….Well, we had a drink before we endeavoured onto this adventure and what better place than the highest 100% Irish owned pub on the planet.

Ok, now we were ready to eat a guneapig :/. We went to a restaurant that offered it as a meal for two. Here it is, one half with head and the claws.

In my opinion it tasted like duck, only there was hardly any meat on it. So after all, I thought it tasted good but it had some strainge effect on Sigrid….

When we arrived at the hotel the side effect had ceased. The porter invited me and a fellow guest to a game of table football. We lost… but it was fun J

Tomorrow we will ride to Puno and have a look at lake Titicaca.

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