Day 177 – Machu Picchu

Day 177 – Machu Picchu      02/14/11      Mileage: 0

The alarm went off at 4:15 and there are not many things I enjoy getting up that early for, but Machu Picchu I guess is one of them. I had to be up that early so I could be on line for the bus ahead of the crowds and hopefully get to hike up Wayna Picchu(the mountain overlooking Machu Picchu)….as they only let 400 people hike up per day. I figured I came this far…might as well try to do it all. The plaza in Aguas Calientes was empty, but as soon as I turned the corner by the shuttle buses I saw at least 150 people already in line…what time did they get up?! It was another hour wait until they started loading the buses, but I was confident that I was still going to be one of the first 400. The bus ride took about half an hour up a steep switchback road. At the visitor center there was another line and I thought I recognized a couple about 10 people in front of me. I went up and asked where I know them from, but we couldn’t place it. I asked Beto if he rides and he said that he and his girlfriend, Tracy, are riding 2-up on a KTM 990 from Colombia to Ushuaia! They also happen to be talking to another rider, Andrew, who’s from the UK riding a Yamaha XT600 and is on a round the world trip! What a stroke of luck to meet 3 other adventure riders. So enough yada yada…..here are the pics…..

Beto and Tracy

The view of Machu Picchu from Wayna Picchu

Andrew, Beto and Tracy on Wayna Picchu

These “stairs” are every bit as steep as they look in the picture!

Beto, Tracy, Andrew and I ended up touring the ruins together for a while and exchanged info in the hopes of meeting somewhere down the road. Beto and Tracy went to find the guide they had arranged for and Andrew and I hiked out to see the Inca bridge.

The Inca bridge…

It was pouring at this point so Andrew and I decided we’d seen enough and took the bus back to Aguas Calientes. We were soaked like drowned rats and looking to dry out over a hot meal. We settled into a descent restaurant and chatted about our trips. Afterwards he split for the train back to Ollantaytambo and I went to get dry room as it was too late to make my way back to Santa Teresa. That night the power went out and all the restaurants and businesses were lit by candlelight which made for a very nice scene.

Even the tienda’s looked nice in the candlelight…lol

After a few drinks, light dinner, and some great laughs with a new friend, Genevieve from Switzerland, I called it a day…and a very full and rewarding one at that.

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6 Responses to Day 177 – Machu Picchu

  1. carla friedman says:

    These pictures are amazing. Of course Stan, who hates heights, would never go there but it is nice to see it and experience it through your eyes. I love that you are meeting so many different people from all over the world and we are experiencing them with you. Thanks again.

    • Lenny says:

      Thanks Carla! Stan would be fine at the main site of Machu Picchu…but there are one or two spots on the hike to Wayna Picchu that are pretty crazy! Yeah, meeting and sharing experiences with other travelers has been a highlight for sure…

  2. Dori says:

    Incredible pictures Lenny!

  3. Arlene says:

    Lenny, you look like you can reach up and touch the clouds. The top of the world………photos were beyond words. Reminded me and Dad of Masada. Glad you got a place to sleep with the weather being bad..
    When we go away, I usually pack two candles and matches just in case the electricity goes out. Now you justify my doing it. Ha, Ha, Ha.

    Your tracker does not have you in Cuzco yet. I know you have it off to safe the battery. You are having an experience of a lifetime. As always, be safe and well. Love ya, Mom and Dad

  4. blitzhausen says:

    oh wow, great pix ! take care !

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