Monday, April 9, 2012
At the bus terminal this morning some girls in native costumes were there to see us off. We spy another INRI crucifix as our bus leaves the city. We travel past the town of Poroy, normally where we would get the train to Machu Picchu. But due to heavy rains back a couple months ago and a landslide, the tracks are closed part of the way. So our bus takes us to Chinchero where we can board the train.
Moving among the crowds at the train station, we check our luggage and board the train. We find seats in the front car. It is more luxurious that we expected with skylight windows and comfortable seating. The train ride is about 2 hours. A couple of vendors are selling their wares on the other side of the train. I don’t know how one could buy anything. Maybe through an open window? There is a large picture window in the front looking forward and that is where I camp out for the ride. The scenery is again breathtakingly beautiful! The conductor drives the train from half of the front. I get some fun shots of a poor lady with flowers to sell but the train doesn’t stop. If it did, I would have bought them! After a fun and scenic couple hours, we arrive in Aguas Caliente, a town at the base of Machu Picchu.
We check into our hotel on the banks of the Urubamba River. A raging river that we wouldn’t want to fall into! The photo of the Mosquito Hawk doesn’t really show it, but that thing’s body was about 3 inches long!
It is still early and our guide asks if we want to go for a hike and we happily agree! So prepared for rain which looks likely, we head out on a road that follows the river. A lot of fun sights and some tunnels to walk through, we hike about 3 miles to a point where we look up and see the edge of Machu Picchu and we are excited. Have you ever seen a banana blossom? But the rain is imminent so we turn back and head for the hotel. The rain holds off until the last mile and we quickly don ponchos we have brought and make it back relatively unscathed and somewhat dry.
The rain has let up and it’s time for some night photos and a stop at “Indio Feliz” for dinner.
Now to get some sleep for we need to be up early and in line for the bus up the mountain!