Thursday, December 9, 2010

Machu Picchu!!!!

After a couple thousand kilometers, more then 60 hours of buses, and several screaming babies, I finally made it to Machu Picchu.
To get there, its either a hundred dollars for a train, or the cheap tough route, you´ll never guess which I took. Seven hour bus along straight cliffsides to a hydro electric power plant, and then a two hour hike along train tracks through the jungle to Machu Picchu Pueblo, or Agua Calientes, a town that exists solely to supply Machu Picchu tourists. As a result, this place is awful. Its the most overtouristed town I´ve seen. People hawk at you to enter their restaurants every three feet, offering 5 for 1, 6 for 1, 7 for 1 happy hours, all of which are like 1 and a half drinks poured into as many cups.
Woke up at 3 am with David, Alex (who I ran into for the second time three thousand kilometers south of Canoa, where we first met) and a Brit named Antony and went to wait for the 530 bus to the ruins (instead of a 2 hour straight uphill climb, up 1700 steps in the rain, but don´´t worry, I did it on the way down, in a downpour). The first four hundred people get to enter Huayna Piccu, or Wayna Piccu, a nearby mountain which overlooks the ruins.
Walked around the ruins which are gigantic, and amazing for the first few hours, and then climbed Wayna Picchu. This was the most intense staircase I´ve ever done. Apparantly about 3 people die every year on it, along with 20 or so broken legs and concussions. No surprise, I think three is rounded down from probably more like 15. Soaking wet, slippery, tiny stairs, going straight up a perpendicular slope, for hundreds of meters. Rediculously hard. Totally worth it for the unbelievable view of the mountains and of Machu Picchu from hundreds of meters up, and the snickers bar and cuban cigar which I shared with david on the highest peak were one of the highlights of my life.
The climb down was really tough, at least for the first hundred meters, without anything to hold onto, on steps 3 to 5 inches thick, uneven, and covered in slippery moss. Thats probably where the three people find their end.
Wandered for a bit, and it started pouring rain, so I walked back down with Alex, David was getting blisters so he took the bus. Walked down the 1700 steps which had turned into a rushing river or large stream, got back soaked through and through. Good thing I only brought one pair of pants.

Hit the hot baths which didn´t compare to Banos, but were relaxing afterwards, and now I´m in an internet cafe. Back to Cuzco on the 9 am tomorrow. Toodle oo!

1 comment:

  1. Outstanding. If I can indulge in understatement. It's so good to see you embracing life like this. And just a taste of what's to come, I'm sure.

    the best,