As I type I am sitting in the train station waiting for our Peru rail train back to cusco, after a very exciting, adventurous and dusty couple of days, exploring the hidden lost city of Machu Picchu high in the Andes mountains.
We arrived the day before heading up to Machu Picchu, as everyone here seems to do. The 4 hour train journey from Poray, near Cusco, traveled through the beautiful sacred valley following the rocky river, past corn fields, cattle grazing and small stone houses. The train then carved its way up through the mountains sheer cliff faces, snow caped peaks in view and up into the misty cloud jungle terrain, where we had deep green mossy jungle trees, and orchids growing along the side of the train line. There can’t be many journeys that take in such a change of altitude and diverse plantation.
On arriving in Agua calientas we were met at the train station by a lady from our hostel and made our way through the brightly coloured souvenir market, which is not dissimilar to a Moroccan souk. Such an array of beautiful colours of alpaca scarves, rugs, socks hats…the list goes on! I literally wanted to buy the lot!
So after settling into our family room, Thursday afternoon and evening was spent getting a few supplies together for the next day, dinner in the village and an early night!
Friday morning we were up bright and early at 5am (along with most people that were staying in the village) the first bus up the mountain goes at 5:30 and continues throughout the day every 5 minutes taking another group. So we got the 6:30 bus up hoping to be a little behind the first wave of people but ahead of the daily train load arriving at 10am.
On our way up the cool mist was very thick and it was difficult to see where we were heading (probably a good thing with the sheer drops and hair pin bends the bus was taking) After getting through the ticket booths we decided to head straight up the old dusty stone steps and rocky paths to the high sun gate. On the way up we were worried the mist wouldn’t clear (we really couldn’t see very far in front of ourselves, let alone the lost city!!!) but every now and again the mist would roll away and the view became clear, and oh what a sight!
Such a marvel of human construction, and wow the size! I wasn’t prepared for just how immense it is, paths, houses, temples, palaces, plazas, astrology observations, sundials, not to mention the cleverly constructed terraces with built in water irrigation from the mountain springs for agriculture. Just incredible!
And to think the whole place was laying hidden and only discovered just over a hundred years ago, amazing!
We pretty much spent the day exploring the ruined city, the girls running in and out of the old stone buildings! Stopping now and then to sit and listen to the wild birds and sounds of the jungle and just take in the incredible views! Trying to imagine what life was like here thousands of years ago. Perhaps the best history lesson the kids could get, although I’ve got a bit of explaining to do about sacrifices later!!!
Daisy wasn’t too keen on the roaming alpacas and there’s a story to tell about her nearly falling off a cliff! But I’ll save that for when I’ve got over it!!!
Today it’s been hot, dusty and sweaty but we’ve felt like explorers and it’s been pretty damn amazing!
What dreams we will have tonight! Xx