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Archive for December 21st, 2009

Day 378 – 21st December 09

Posted by TravellingStrom on December 21, 2009

Monday – Cuzco, Peru

A slow start but a great day all up 🙂

I was up early again and ready to go at 6am with everyone else, a pity the bus did not turn up. Another lesson in Mańana, which continued all morning while we got one bus to another bus stop, this bus took us for an hour and a half journey to a train station, the train took us to Agua Caliente, a small town near Machu Picchu, where we waited again for tickets for yet another bus which took us to Machu Picchu itself. We finally entered the site just before midday! Here are a few pickies of the trip up and the people I am travelling with.

Chris and Melissa from Seth Efrica and Florida

Judy and Johanas from Oz and Germany

Gino, Ingo and Cecelia Venuzuala, Germany and Peru

Graham you already know, but now in an El Diablo disguise, mind you his face is normally this colour after a day in the sun 🙂

So, we gathered our guide and started to climb up to the main viewing terrace, it looked a bit cloudy up here!

Now, you better enjoy the first view of MachuPicchu because that photo cost $180!!!!

Yep, nothing, nada, nunca!!! We were mostly very pissed off people by now, especially after the effort taken to get here. But, we decided we would make the most of it and listen to the guide while he spruiked his stuff in halting English. The clouds shifted and changed and occasionally when the wind blew right, we actually got to see the site from above and we put our best xmas spirit into it 🙂

Our guide was right into the meaning of the site and not the gory history, so it was all about the reason for it being here. Basically there are three glaciers in the surrounding mountains and this site is in the exact centre of all three, water is life and the Incas built aqueducts to channel the water here so they could survive. The shape of the glaciers are represented throughout the site in ceremonial carvings in the rocks and also the outlines of the mountains that contain the ‘water of life’.

A sacrificial alter where they sacrificed llamas etc.

The view became better and better as the afternoon wore on and it looked like if we stayed long enough the sun may even burn off the fog 🙂

We headed down into the suburban area for some more information by our trusty guide.

Once again we saw the rocks shaped to match the surrounding mountains.

This is our guide, Clear The Idea!!!! And of course Sue 🙂

He was a funny bugger, every time he explained some of the reasons behind the culture he wanted to know if we understood, but his English was a tad hazy and instead of saying “Is that clear” he would say “clear the idea”, this had the effect of cracking us up and lightened up the day, at one stage Melissa was nearly in tears every time he said it, funny to watch 🙂 The views started to become better and I loved the stone work, amazing that they would go to the effort of shaping these stones the way they did, not a lot of right angles used at all and one corner one that was rounded on the inside 🙂

A hole carved which was used as a tether point for a sacrificial animal and some more of the site, we made the most of the viewing windows as they happened 🙂

The sacred stone, this one once again has been carved to represent the mountain range behind it that contains a glacier, water of life, um, no you cannot see the mountain range sorry, nor could we 🙂

A few more of the general area, including a pose shot 🙂

Now, up in the hills is a pass through the mountain, this is where the Inca trail comes in from Cuzco and the first view of the site after 4 days trekking is as you pass through the Sun Gate. This would have been a nice 2 hour round trip hike to the gate and back, but the time we had left plus the poor visibility meant I decided not to. The arrow shows the gate location and you can see the trail to the right along the mountain face.

Here are some more wall stonework and some of the temples.

Now this one stumped me, on the one side you can see they had no problem in creating a wall with all the blocks uniform and square, so the weird shaped ones are a mystery, but check out the wall opposite, those blokes must have been drunk!

We were about done now and because the weather had cleared we clambered back up a stack of steps to the viewpoint for a couple of photo opportunities, the view is spectacular from up here when it is clear.

After this we headed back to the bus which took us back to the village, where we had a chance to look around for stickers for the bike and a Tshirt for me, once again it continues to surprise me the all these stalls sell the same stuff at the same price, loco 🙂

After that it was a 2 hour train ride back to get a bus to get back to the hotel, I managed to squeeze in 4 beers on the train of course 🙂 We arrived back late and found all our bikes had sprung xmas hats, courtesy of Gert who had not been on the trip.

After that I raced around to make a phone call to my mum as it was her birthday tomorrow, but as Oz is 15 hours ahead, it was now tomorrow there. It was a shit line but I succeeded in my goal, before we all went for a feed at a local place and then crashing out, it has been a big two days and tomorrow we had all decided would be a rest day in Cuzco, before heading to Bolivia for Xmas.

Day – 0 miles and 0 km
Trip – 47,016 miles and 75,665 km



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