Machu Picchu was consider a holy city built with spiritual purposes in mind. Perhaps a pilgrammage site. Machu Picchu was built earthquake proof, even though between two fault lines, between 1400 AD to 1500 AD during the time of Pachacuti, the 9th Inca ruler . It was eventually abandoned after holding out during the first few years of the Spanish Conqusitadors.
Archeologist Hiram Bingham has been credited as the one who discovered Machu Picchu but 3 families were living there when he did. Though Hiram did give Machu Picchu scientific acknowledgment as ‘discovery’.
The next morning in Aguas Calientes I’m having breakfast a the Terraza de Luna 3 star hotel. There’s no one at the breakfast room but I can see the hotel host had set up my breakfast for me. Grover meets me in the hotel lobby then we walk over to catch the bus to Machu Picchu.
At the bus drop-off I’m looking tat the 4 photos of different path choices to make for ticketing. I tell Grover circuit 2 Alto Largo to cover the most of Machu Picchu.
While Grover is getting the tickets I see this lady emptying garbage and she keeps swishing away this dog that keeps tugging at her pants non-stop. The dog just won’t leave her alone. So I clap my hands and call the dog over while she hurries away. Luckily the dog did start doing that to me but I did have tights on not loose pants.
There are plenty of steps to climb to get to the Inca city from the bus station. We stop at an ancient control gate for the city you can see holes on each side that were used for an actual gate.
After some photo shoots with Machu Picchu (yielding the main story photo) in the background we sit awile on this grassy plain area as Grover talks about Machu Picchu and it’s history. I’m feeling really good just sitting here admiring the views and listening to Grover talk.
I spot a cute caterpillar on the city path and me and Grover move it over to the side to avoid it getting stepped on.
There are a couple llamas in the area. Grover explains how they wanted to use llamas to ‘mow’ the grass but the problem is they leave a lot of llama poop to clean up. As we saw quite a pile.
We spend a little time here at the temple of the sun. Where Grover explains the alignments of the windows with seasonal astronomical events such as the winter solstice coming up June 21st where the sun lines up with the window seen as the brightest one in the photo below.
Note that Inca actually means son of the sun and the Incas associated gold with the sun.
Temple of the Sun
Some of the flora of Machu Picchu
The Temple of the Condor in Machu Picchu is a natural cave with a formation that was adapted and shaped to be the wings of a huge bird and a huge stone carved in the shape of the head of the condor.
All of a sudden a creature emerges from the cave that looks like a rabbit and I’m suddenly reminded of the rabbit from Monty Python’s Holy Grail. So cute. It hops around and I can see that it’s not a rabbit. My Youtube video show this better. I find out that it’s a viscacha, a relative of the chinchilla.
After 4 hours of touring Machu Picchu it’s time to head back to Aguas Caliente for some lunch. My train is scheduled for 4:20 pn back to Ollantaytambo.
I suggest to Grover that we eat at Toto’s. I read a review about it’s nice location and view of the river and people watching.
While I’m having my maracuya drink I see people getting off the bus and one of them is familar. I’m looking at him thinking it’s Lamartine the guy from Rio from my Peru Hop bus. He looks up and waives at me and it is him. He comes up to the balcony to say hi for a bit but has to go catch his train soon.
I’m having grilled loin with quinoa and a lemonade.
It’s time for Grover to leave and I have a couple more hours before my train. Grover has to do this same trek with other people tomorrow.
The train station entry is convienently located inside an artisnal mercado labyrinth. I look around for a new cap since I left mine on the bus.
The train is quite comfortable and we are treated to a fashion show of alpaca wear with modern Peruvian music.
The windows in the train allow for great viewing.
I finally get back to my hostel in Cusco just shy of 8pm and my bed is ready and waiting for me. In all I would see my trip was quite successful thanks to Kenko Adventures.